Paul Sawyier: Kentucky Watercolors

Oct 27 2020 to Mar 20 2021
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Paul Sawyier, Beyond the Hill (Singing Bridge, Frankfort, Kentucky), undated, watercolor on paper.

Paul Sawyier’s deep roots in Kentucky have made him one of the state’s favorite artists. This exhibition features the atmospheric watercolors he made in and around his Frankfort home, as well as at other well-known locales in the region. Many will be familiar to viewers today. 

Sawyier often revisited his favorite Frankfort subjects: the dappled shade of Louisville Hill in summer; the “singing bridge,” steeples of the county and federal courthouses, and Good Shepherd Church, viewed from the vantage point of the Frankfort City Cemetery; and the graceful architecture of the Old Capitol building. 

He often lived and worked on a houseboat on the Kentucky River between 1908 and 1913, frequently mooring at Shakertown or Camp Nelson, although he navigated the river to many sites. Sawyier and his love Mayme Bull often went canoeing on the river or the Elkhorn Creek east of Frankfort.  

Even after Sawyier moved to Brooklyn in 1913 to try to sell more work, he painted well-loved Kentucky scenes based on sketches he brought with him.

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