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Robert S. Duncanson
Birth: 1817
Fayette
Seneca County
New York, USA
Death: Dec. 21, 1872
Detroit
Wayne County
Michigan, USA

Artist. He was one the first African-American painters to garner international acclaim. Duncanson was especially noted for his landscapes, which were influenced by the Hudson River School. He was born to a free black family in upstate New York. His grandfather, Charles Duncanson, was an emancipated slave from Virginia who came to New York in the late 1780s. The Duncansons later settled in Monroe, Michigan, where Robert apprenticed as a carpenter and house painter. He was partially educated in Canada but received no formal art training. Around 1840 he moved to Mount Healthy, Ohio, a small town north of Cincinnati, where he began his career as a professional artist. He had his first exhibition in 1842. His hundreds of works consist not only of landscapes but of murals, portraits, still lifes, and even daguerreotype photography. Some of his most famous paintings include "The Land of the Lotus Eaters", "Vesuvius and Pompeii", "Ruins of Carthage", and "Blue Hole, Little Miami River". In 1850 Duncanson painted eight landscape murals, complete with hand painted frame-like borders, floral vignettes and other intricate designs, in the home of Cincinnati's first millionaire, Nicholas Longworth; it is now the Taft Museum of Art and the murals still exist as one of the museum's most distinguished features. Duncanson received a grant from the Anti-Slavery League to study in Europe and was further sponsored by Longworth to travel to Scotland in 1853. Back home he accepted numerous commissions to paint portraits of white abolitionists such as James G. Birney, Lewis Cass, and Freeman Cary. He fled north to Minnesota and Canada in 1862 to escape the tumultuous conditions created by of the Civil War and again went to Europe, visiting England and Italy. Some of his work was purchased by Queen Victoria and the King of Sweden. In October of 1872, while setting up an exhibition in Detroit, Duncanson suffered a nervous breakdown and was taken to a local hospital, where he died two months later. His body was transported to Monroe after his funeral and interred in the Duncanson family plot at Woodland Cemetery. His grave is unmarked.  (bio by: K Guy) 
 
Burial:
Woodland Cemetery
Monroe
Monroe County
Michigan, USA
Plot: Duncanson family plot
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: K Guy
Record added: Feb 07, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 17841382
Robert S. Duncanson
Added by: Bill McKern
 
Robert S. Duncanson
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Barbara (Pfefferle) Sullivan
 
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Thanks for helping develop Ohio's 19th century photographic heritage.
- Don Fredgant
 Added: Sep. 16, 2014

- Lani
 Added: Mar. 5, 2013

- 49boy3
 Added: Dec. 21, 2012
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