Charles H. Sawyer was born on March 24, 1868, probably in Norridgewock, Maine. In the 1890’s, Charles began his art career as a portrait artist, a painter, and then, as a photographer in Providence, RI. He also worked as a pencil artist for the New York Tribune and worked with the well-known Wallace Nutting. Here, Charles Sawyer learned the painting and coloring techniques that would move his black and white photographic art to another level. He created watercolor, pastel, and crayon portraits on commission. Ultimately, however, his fortune and reputation were built on his dramatic American landscapes.
|Charles Henry Sawyer|
|Charles H. Sawyer hand painted photograph, "Melody".|
Until the 1950’s, most of Sawyer’s images were matted; if not, it is likely the image was framed outside the studio by an individual or a company, like Jordan Marsh in Boston, or Wannamakers in Philadelphia, which ordered numbers of images. The earliest mattings, those done while Charles worked out of Farmington, ME, were an off-white originally; but with age, they now appear as wheat-colored. The image itself was usually framed by a separate, thin grey mat, although some from the Farmington era were set on depressed mats also. More often than not, these images were pencil-signed, most likely by Charles himself.
|Charles H. Sawyer hand painted photograph, "Ammonoosuc Falls".|
- "The Hand-Painted Photographs of Charles Henry Sawyer", written by Carol Begley Gray, Michael Ivankovich and John Peters.
|Jean brought some of her collection of Sawyer prints to the presentation.|
|Sawyer colorized photographs from Jean's collection were on display at the presentation..|
A video of Jean's presentation will be available for viewing shortly. Refreshments were served following the presentation.
A Historical Society Business meeting was held afterward.
A Sawyer Image - A Thing of Beauty http://www.thegavel.net/sawyer.html
A Lifetime of Devotion Crosses the Block http://www.thegavel.net/Seplead1.html
The Hand-Painted Photographs of Charles Henry Sawyer, Carol Begley Gray, Michael Ivankovich, John Peters, Second Edition, Treasure Press, 2002
Farmington Historical Society collection.