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Alexander family papers relating to Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1912-1985

Alexander family


Collection Information

Size: 1 Microfilm reel

Summary: This microfilm collection consists of the Alexander family papers relating to African American painter Henry Ossawa Tanner. The collection includes correspondence between Tanner and Raymond Alexander (1924-1937) and court documents concerning Tanner's legal action against the Bethel A.M.E Church. Included in the Sadie Aleander materials are personal letters from Tanner; correspondence from museums discussing exhibition loans and the discovery of Tanner paintings; printed material, including catalogs and clippings; and materials related to the Tanner commemorative stamp.

Biographical/Historical Note

Raymond Pace Alexander (1897-1974) and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander (1898-1989) were prominent African American lawyers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Sadie Alexander was Henry Ossawa Tanner's niece. Raymond Alexander represented Tanner in his legal suit against the Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church in Philadelphia regarding nonpayment for a bust of Richard Allen.


Microfilmed in 1990 as part of AAA's Philadelphia Arts Documentation Project. Only those parts of the Alexander family papers relating to Henry Ossawa Tanner were filmed; the entire collection is available at the University of Pennsylvania Archives and Records Center (Alexander Family Papers, 1817-2005).

Related Materials

The Archives of American Art also holds the Henry Ossawa Tanner papers, 1860s-1978; the Henry O. Tanner letters to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1885-1909; and the Marcia M. Mathews papers relating to Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1937-1969. The Atlanta University Center, Robert W. Woodruff Library holds the Henry Ossawa Tanner collection, 1907-1937.

Language Note

English .

Location of Originals

  • Originals in University of Pennsylvania Archives.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reel 4399 available at Archives of American Art offices, through interlibrary loan and at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Restrictions on Access

The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.

How to Cite This Collection

Alexander family papers relating to Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1912-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.