Black History Month in Visual Arts~ February 1

William Williams Powder Horn attributed to John Bush

c.1755 / Pine wood, iron, pigment / 3 5/8”x13 1/4” / Historic Deerfield,
The William H. Guthman Collection of American Engraved Powder Horns, Deerfield, MA

[There are four embedded links above, including the image]

Among the most influential of carvers was John Bush…Bush was born in 1725 or 1726, in Shrewsbury (now Boylston), Mass., the son of a free black farmer and property owner. He served in the Massachusetts Militia from 1747 until Aug. 9, 1757, when he was captured during the surrender of Fort William Henry by Indians allied with French forces. Despite efforts made by Bush’s father to trace his son’s whereabouts, John Bush was never heard from again.

“Bush’s calligraphic style, his formats and his decoration became the basis for the Lake George school of the 1750’s,” Mr. Guthman writes, referring to one of the major groups of artists identified in his research. “Thus an otherwise obscure black farmer can with some justification be regarded as one of the founders of an entire tradition of American folk art.”  ~

See also: February 1~ African-American visual artists

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