Benjamin Tucker Tanner
Henry O. Tanner
Until recently, Tanner’s work as a sculptor has gone largely unnoticed. Yet sculpting was a critical teaching tool for Tanner’s instructor at the Pennsylvania Academy, Thomas Eakins, who believed that his students needed to understand the three-dimensional properly in order to paint skillfully in two dimensions. During his brief time back in the United States in the mid-1890s, Tanner paid homage to his own upbringing, creating one of his few surviving sculptures, Bust of Benjamin Tucker Tanner. With his faraway gaze and prominent cross hanging at his neck, Bishop Tanner appears as a formidable figure, both intellectual and religious, a leader in this world who ponders the world beyond.