African American artist Robert Seldon Duncanson (1821–1872) was widely recognized during his lifetime for pastoral landscapes of American, Canadian, and European scenery. Recent scholarship, however, has begun to focus on a small group of still-life paintings (fewer than a dozen are known) that Duncanson produced during the late 1840s. Spare, elegant, and meticulously painted, these works reflect the tradition of American still-life painting initiated by Charles Willson Peale and his gifted children—particularly Raphaelle and Rembrandt Peale. Still-life paintings by Duncanson are extremely rare and highly coveted. Signed and dated 1848, Still Life with Fruit and Nuts is a particularly fine example and the first work by Duncanson to enter the Gallery’s collection. Classically composed with fruit arranged in a tabletop pyramid, the painting includes remarkable passages juxtaposing the smooth surfaces of beautifully rendered apples with the textured shells of scattered nuts.