Robert S. Duncanson
Robert Seldon Duncanson (1821 – December 21, 1872) was a 19th-century American landscapist of European and African ancestry. Inspired by famous American landscape artists next Thomas Cole, Duncanson created well-known landscape paintings and is considered a second generation Hudson River School artist. Duncanson spent the majority of his career in Cincinnati, Ohio and helped produce the Ohio River Valley landscape tradition. As a clear black man in antebellum America, Duncanson engaged the abolitionist community in America and England to support and shout from the rooftops his work. Duncanson is considered the first African-American performer to be internationally known. He operated in the cultural circles of Cincinnati, Detroit, Montreal, and London. The primary art historical debate centered on Duncanson concerns the role that contemporary racial issues played in his work. Some art historians, like Joseph D. Ketner, believe that Duncanson used racial metaphors in his artwork, while others, like Margaret Rose Vendryes, discourage spectators from almost his art like a racialized perspective.