Robert Douglass, Jr.

Robert Douglass, Jr. was a prominent and talented artist and teacher born in Philadelphia in 1809; he studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and at the school of Design.  Robert did work for several prominent white patrons in Philadelphia, and his oil portraits were highly valued by these respected families.  One of Robert Douglass, Jr's most widely celebrated works was a patriotic art transparency he made of President George Washington, which was prominently displayed in front of the historic Independence Hall in Philadelphia.  According to historian Gary Nash, "It was Douglass whose gigantic and illuminated transparences of George Washington crossing the Delaware hung in front of Independence Hall in 1832 for the hundredth anniversary of Washington's birth, arousing cheers from thousands..." (Nash, Gary B, First City,  pg. 199).  Robert Douglass, Jr. was also a teacher at the Institute for Colored Youth, which later became Cheyney University, one of the oldest historically black colleges in the U.S.

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