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 Bill Sawyer  (1936 - )

About: Bill Sawyer


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Lived/Active: North Carolina/Tennessee      Known for: naive style landscape, buildings and figure painting

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BIOGRAPHY for Bill Sawyer
1936 (Nashville, Tennessee)
North Carolina/Tennessee

Self portrait - Self-portrait

Often Known For
naive style landscape, buildings and figure painting

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Bill Sawyer, son of Mr. and Mrs. William R. Sawyer, was born in 1936 and was a self-taught artist.   He graduated from Hillsboro High School (North Carolina) in 1954 and then took up painting “just to kill 30 months in France: while in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

His first exhibition was in Nashville in May of 1959.  Subsequently, he had 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.   A second show there, in 1966, sold out. Sawyer was the first untrained artist to have a one-man show at Durlacher’s.

His work went on to be represented at the Fine Arts Center at Cheekwood in Nashville and in many private collections. Shortly after this time Sawyer traveled overseas, and after his trip Sawyer went through a transformation and vowed never to paint again.

Tennessee Historical Quarterly

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