Save the Henry O. Tanner House

Greetings, in regards to hopes for a near-future house museum for a vaunted 19th and 20th-century artist and one-time Philadelphian – Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937), known largely for his often luminous paintings, such as “The Annunciation” at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, as well as the refuge he succeeded at creating through life in France when racial prejudice placed a ceiling on the realization of his talents here in his native country.

In late February, North Philadelphia preservationists and others launched a fundraiser with the initial goal of raising $300,000 by Tanner’s birthday on June 21 to stabilize the North Philadelphia house at 2908 West Diamond Street in which he was raised from the age of 13 on. This property, which is a designated NHL (National Historic Landmark), is also linked with other relatives of his who were nationally significant luminaries in the Black community; these include but are not limited to his father, African Methodist Episcopalian Reverend Benjamin Tucker Tanner (1835-1923)  and his niece Sadie Alexander (1898-1989) – one of the first three Black women in the U.S. to obtain a Ph.D who was also a prominent lawyer.

You are encouraged to learn more about the house and donate at the site noted in the graphic . I would be glad to field any questions in the meantime, or refer you to better sources.

— APT member Josh Silver