Horace Pippin's Autobiography, First World War, circa 1920s

About the Project

Transcribe the handwritten and illustrated autobiography by Horace Pippin, an African American World War I soldier and self-taught painter from West Chester, Pennsylvania. His fighting experiences in France during World War I greatly influenced his later paintings. During the war, he was wounded and lost the use of his right arm. When painting, he had to use his left hand to guide his right. He gained a national reputation as a "true American primitive" in the 1940s, when his bold narrative paintings of childhood memories, war experiences, heroes, African American genre scenes, and religious subjects were widely exhibited, including his famous painting of the hanging of John Brown. In this notebook, Pippin recounts his World War I experiences in detail from the time he left the United States on November 17th, 1917 with the 15th N.Y. Infantry for France.

See the rest of Horace Pippin's notebooks and letters in his fully digitized papers on the Archives of American Art website.

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