In January 2013, author Jennifer Bryant ’00M published A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin (Knopf), which celebrates the 125th anniversary of the birth of the famous African-American painter and West Chester, Pa.-native Horace Pippin. Bryant is gaining national attention and has recently been interviewed for a slew of publications and radio shows.
On Feb. 22, the Inquirer published “Chester County writer celebrates life of painter Horace Pippin” ahead of a reading and discussion at the Brandywine River Museum. The article explores Bryant’s early interest in biography and her first encounter with Pippin’s work.
“Even as a kid, reading these seemingly ordinary lives” in material that her father would phone to the local newspaper, Bryant said, she realized that even “gas station attendants had much bigger and more interesting lives” than passersby might have thought.
The encounter with Pippin’s work happened while Bryant was teaching writing at West Chester University.
“I’d been rambling on one day about Andrew Wyeth,” she said. Realizing she was talking to “35 blank faces,” she packed them off to discover Wyeth’s work at the museum.
But, walking the galleries, she was the one who was startled, and it was by a Pippin painting, Saying Prayers.
On Feb. 25, Bryant appeared on WHYY’s Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane. Listen to the interview.
Bryant is a prolific author and a graduate of Arcadia University’s Master of Arts in English program. She is best known for her biographical picture book A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, which received a Caldecott Honor award, as well as for her Oprah-recommended historical novel in verse Ringside 1925: Views from the Scopes Trial.