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An exciting series of events about Providence's 19th-century Black power couple who created institutions, 
shaped the art scene, fought for the abolition of slavery, and built alliances across the racial divide.

Edward M. Bannister:
The Artist and His Influences

The Bannister Project
a Documentary
by Angel Sweeney

The Tonight Show:
Ed Shein on Edward Bannister

(March 6, 1978)

Disclaimer: The Tonight Show was guest-hosted by Bill Cosby during this episode in 1978. We acknowledge the serious allegations and convictions that Cosby has faced in recent years. We believe this show holds great value in the eduction that guest, Ed Shein, conveys while discussing his work to promote Edward Bannister's exceptional legacy as America's foremost African American artist.

A Guide to Edward & Christiana Bannister

Afro-Canadian landscape artist, Edward Mitchell Bannister was the first artist to win a national American art prize (Philadelphia Centennial, 1876) and co-founded the Providence Art Club (see below). Christiana Carteaux Bannister, born in North Kingstown, was a highly successful hair doctress, abolitionist, philanthropist, using her resources to help fund the Black 54th Civil War Regiment, found a home for elderly Black women (see below), and finance her husband's art career.


Gravesite: North Burial Ground, North Main & Branch Avenue. 1901. The imposing granite headstone, designed by Bannister's friends and fellow artists of the Providence Art Club, bears stunning brass appliqués.

Bus Stop: Bannister tribute on glass panel. North Main Street beside North Burial Ground just south of Royal Street. (Destroyed June 2020)

Christiana Carteaux Bannister Sculpture: Rhode Island State House, second floor, 82 Smith Street.

Providence Art Club: 11 Thomas Street. Bannister was co-founder in 1878 of this second oldest art club in the US. Within are Bannister’s silhouette, his first prize for the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, and his paintings.

His Art Studio: 2 College Street (Franklin House, 1822). By 1872, Bannister had moved here to a fourth floor studio, Room 50 (1878)

Her Hair Salon Site: 220 Westminster Street.

Home for Aged Colored Women: 45 East Transit Street. Founded by Christiana in 1890, she was a resident there herself prior to her death in 1902. In 1977 a new building was erected at 135 Dodge Street, Providence to serve the same population and renamed Bannister House in her honor.

Bannister Street: at George Street. Once named for slaver, William Magee, the street was renamed for the Bannisters following Stages of Freedom's petition to the City Council in 2017 and dedicated in the fall of 2018, and is the first street officially named for African Americans in the city.

E. M. Bannister Gallery: Roberts Hall, Rhode Island College, 600 Mt. Pleasant Avenue. Founded and named for Edward in 1978.


His Artwork: Providence Athenaeum: 251 Benefit Street. View two landscape drawings by Bannister.


His Studio: 20 Westminster Street


Stages of Freedom: 10 Westminster Street. View exhibit on the Bannisters

Residence: 93 Benevolent Street. The Bannisters resided here from 1884 until 1898. See more here:

Abner Hall House, 1826-27: 116 Hope Street. Chirstiana Bannister lived here in the back after Edward died in 1901. The house was owned by her niece, ca. 1895-1907. See:


An Annotated Bibliography on

Edward Mitchell Bannister and Christiana Carteaux Bannister


The Christiana Carteaux Bannister Memorial Plaque
is Made Possible by Our Generous Donors:


Black Philanthropy Bannister Fund

Vincent Buonanno

Bill Viall

1772 Foundation

Deon James

Ray Rickman

Barnaby Evans

Rev. Jonathan Huyck

Linda Whyte Burrell

Edward M. Bannister Gravestone Plaque Stolen
$5,000 Reward Offered for its Return

Stages of Freedom and friends have stepped forward to offer a $5,000 reward for the return of the magnificent bronze plaque ripped from Edward Bannister’s grave stone within the past week. According Providence City Cemetery Director Annalisa Heppner, “the plaque was discovered missing yesterday, and is presumed to be headed to a scrap yard to be melted down.” Police and all scrap shops have been notified to be on the lookout for it. 


Ray Rickman, who upon hearing the news this morning immediately began a reward campaign, says, “This is an unholy act, entering a sacred space and desecrating one of the City’s most important memorials to Black excellence.” Robb Dimmick believed the story needed to go national and contacted media outlets.



2 Free Walking Tours of

The Bannister's Providence

Saturday, Sept. 9 @ 11am

Sunday, Sept 10 @ 11am

To register, email your preferred date, name & phone number to:


Edward Bannister Statue Unveiling

Saving Bannister

Thursday, November 2nd @ 5:00 pm

at the RISD Museum Auditorium

Ed Shein in discussion with Barnaby Evans and

Ray Rickman about placing Edward Bannister's paintings in the Smithsonian Institute.

Tap below to register.























Christiana Carteaux Bannister

Historic Marker Dedication

TBD (Check Back for Updates)

Stages of Freedom,

10 Westminster Street, Downtown Providence

Join us for the dedication of an historic memorial plaque to honor Providence's foremost Black Victorian Philanthropist, Hair Doctress, and Wife of painter Edward M. Bannister.

Saving Bannister Poster.jpg

These Events are brought to you thanks to the support of:


News Coverage:

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