Hay Gatherers, c.1893, is a rare extant painting by Bannister that explores the lives of working-class Black people in Rhode Island. In the distance, women and children are harvesting and stacking hay in a field. The cloudy yet bright sky provides a warm, diffuse light. While workers are not uncommon in Bannister’s pastoral landscapes, only in later works such as this one does he depict members of the Black community. The setting of this painting may be South County, where Bannister’s wife, Christiana Carteaux Bannister, was born, and where Rhode Island’s largest plantations operated. The artist employs the Barbizon style of painting—a realist mode of painting originating in mid-nineteenth century France that often took up farmworkers as subjects—to explore the specific history of slave labour in Rhode Island.