Bill Sawyer (American/Tennessee, b. 1936) oil on masonite portrait of a black man wearing a hat, striped shirt and large blue stone ring, smiling as he holds a guitar. "Property of C King" inscribed en verso in pen. Dark giltwood frame with egg and dart and bead molding and linen liner. Sight – 17 1/2" H x 13 1/2" W. Framed – 20 1/2" H x 24" W. Circa mid 1960s. Biography: Bill Sawyer was a self-taught artist. He graduated from Hillsboro High School in North Carolina, in 1954 and took up painting while stationed in France in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. His first exhibition was in Nashville in May of 1959 and he went on to have one-man shows at Daniel Orr's Gallery in San Diego, the Little Gallery in Memphis, TN, and the Parthenon in Nashville. Joseph Patterson, then the president of the American Association of Museums, arranged for a show of Sawyer's work at the Durlacher Brothers Gallery in New York in 1964. Sawyer was the first untrained artist to have a one-man showthe gallery, and his second show there, in 1966, sold out. Shortly after this time, Sawyer traveled overseas. After his trip, for unknown reasons Sawyer vowed never to paint again. His whereabouts are currently unknown. Provenance: the estate of Victor T. Patterson, Franklin, TN. Note: born in Georgia and educated at the Parsons School of Design, Victor Patterson served as a cultural representative to Russia with Dwight D. Eisenhower's "People to People" program (prior to its privatization) before moving to the Nashville, Tennessee area to pursue a career in interior design. He was associated with Bradford's for many years before starting his own business. He decorated the Tennessee Governor's Mansion and the home of several country music stars in the 1970s, and filled his home on Franklin's historic Fourth Avenue with art and antiques from his frequent travels. CONDITION: A few minor abrasions to frame. Painting in excellent condition.
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