Helen A. F. Sawyer (1898-1999)

Helen A. F. Sawyer (1898-1999)

Born in Washington, DC, Helen Alton Sawyer was the daughter of artist Wells Sawyer.  In addition to studying with her father, Sawyer trained at the Art Students League and the National Academy in New York, and with Charles Hawthorne on Cape Cod. There she met fellow student Jerry Farnsworth, whom she married in 1925. 

Contact Vose about this artist
Read more about this artist...

Sawyer and Farnsworth exhibited together frequently, and in 1933, three years after their mentor Hawthorne passed away, the couple carried on his tradition and established an art school in Wellfleet on Cape Cod, which later moved to Provincetown and by 1940 was located in Truro.  Several years later they founded a winter art school in Sarasota, Florida.

Sawyer was elected to the National Academy in 1937, and became a full Academician in 1950. She participated in the annuals of the Pennsylvania Academy and the Art Institute of Chicago, and was a member of the National Association of Women Artists and the Provincetown Art Association, among other groups. In the words of one critic, Sawyer’s art “expresses with vitality early morning effects against the sun, the somber evenings of late November, cold, silvery skies, and rich sunlight.  She has an intense and personal attitude toward tree-farms, hills and ground contours and a freshness of vision which is enlivening.”

References: See Who Was Who In American Art (1999); Art by American Women, Selections from the Collection of Louise and Alan Sellars (Gainesville, GA: Brenau College, 1991). 

Request this artist