Patrick Henry Reason was born in New York City in 1816. He is known as one of the first African-American printmakers and an avid abolitionist.

Reason exhibited artistic talent when he was a young boy, and went on to get an education and apprenticeship as a printmaker. He attended the New York African Free School in New York City before he was a lithography and engraving apprentice to a British man named Stephen Henry Gimber.

Reason then opened his own studio in New York City when his apprenticeship was completed. Here he advertised as a landscape artist, portraitist, draftsman, and engraver. Publications, abolitionists, and the government desired his talents as an engraver.

Throughout his career, he was praised by those around him. His main focus of subject matter was that of active abolitionists or civil rights activists because he pushed for the abolishment of slavery. Reason’s works were greatly influential and spread the hope for African American freedom.

Patrick Reason would have enjoyed viewing the other artwork around him at the Salon. He would not only support portraits of abolitionists like the ones Joshua Johnson or Edmonia Lewis created, but he would also appreciate the harshness and somberness of works that displayed slaves in chains and horrible situations. He would love to hear the stories freed or escaped slaves had to share because it showed there was hope for freedom.




Farrington, Lisa. African-American Art: A Visual and Cultural History. New York City: Oxford UP, 2017. Print.