Philadelphia Museum of Art Custom Prints



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About the Artwork

Henry Ossawa Tanner created this portrait of his mother, Sarah Elizabeth Tanner, on a visit back to Philadelphia from his home in France. In the painting, Sarah sits in a wooden rocking chair and gazes ahead, deep in thought. A golden light illuminates the fan in her hand, and brightens her face as well as the shawl that drapes onto the floor behind her. She wears a long, navy blue dress, and her black leather shoes are just visible beneath it. She appears relaxed, her left hand gently resting against her cheek.

Sarah lived a remarkable life. When she was a child, her mother put her and her siblings on an oxcart bound for Pennsylvania to escape slavery in Virginia via the Underground Railroad. Sarah helped found one of the first societies for black women and raised seven children with her husband, Benjamin Tucker Tanner, a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In the bottom right corner of the painting, Tanner wrote, “To my dear mother, H. O. Tanner.” This sensitive portrayal and endearing inscription capture the love and admiration the artist felt for his mother, the center of his large and distinguished family.

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About Our Prints

Philadelphia Museum of Art Custom Prints offers exclusive custom reproductions of artworks in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Hand-made in the USA using gallery-quality materials, we create prints as true to the original work as possible, using strict color management protocols and state-of-the-art printing technology.
Many of the works offered through this store are exclusive and not available anywhere else. In addition, new works are continually added to the offering so make sure to come back and see the new releases.
You have found the work that speaks to you. Now what? Using our innovative custom framing tool you can preview exactly what your finished and framed art will look like. We offer many different moulding styles so there is sure to be a match for any type of decor.

Member Discounts

As always, members will receive their discount for all transactions processed through our Custom Prints store. Simply enter your Member ID during the checkout process and your discount will be applied.