Jodi Whitaker

Rarely-Seen Sawyier Exhibit on Display at UK Chandler Hospital

Published: Sep 13, 2012


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 13, 2012) - Some rarely seen paintings by Kentucky's Paul Sawyier will go on display this week at the UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital's East Gallery (located in the corridor between Pavilion A and Pavilion H, near the Kentucky Children's Hospital elevator).


The paintings were inspired by Rose Terry Cooke’s poem “The Two Villages," and as with many Sawyier paintings, depict scenes from Sawyier's hometown of Frankfort.


The 19-painting collection, owned by the Kentucky Historical Society, includes the Kentucky River, the cityscape of Frankfort, the Daniel Boone monument in the Frankfort Cemetery, and the monument to soldiers killed in foreign wars.


This is the first time this series from the Kentucky Historical Society's collection has been on display.


“The Sawyier exhibit is the result of a joint effort by the Kentucky Historical Society and the UK Arts in HealthCare Program, and it's one we are very excited to have," said Jackie Hamilton, director of UK Arts in HealthCare. "The UK Arts in HealthCare Program works to seek out ongoing relationships and joint projects with state, regional and local organizations to enhance the cultural landscape for everyone who passes through the UK Chandler Hospital."


The poem compares the noisy village with the quiet graves on the hill. In the romantic tradition of the 19th century, both the poem and the paintings made the certainty of death a comforting — if not welcomed — event.


Sawyier likely became familiar with the poem after seeing it published in the Frankfort Roundabout on Feb. 16, 1895. The editor’s note that the poem was “applicable to Frankfort and her cemetery” may have inspired Sawyier to paint the series.


Sawyier, a renowned Kentucky artist, was born in Ohio in 1865. At the age of five, he moved to Frankfort with his family.


Although he painted in several styles, Sawyier is best known for his impressionistic landscapes of Franklin County and the surrounding region.


Sawyier spent his last years working in the Catskill Mountains. At the time of his death, it was estimated that he had painted almost 3,000 works of art. Reproduction of some his more well-known pieces created a resurgence of interest in Sawyier in the late 20th century. The Kentucky Historical Society has more than 120 Sawyier paintings in its collections, all of which can be viewed online at


The UK Arts in HealthCare program is funded through private funds, allowing a variety of art forms to be displayed and performed throughout the hospital. The program highlights local, national and international artists.


An agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Kentucky Historical Society, established in 1836, is committed to helping people understand, cherish and share Kentucky's history. The KHS history campus includes the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, the Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum at the State Arsenal. For more information about the Kentucky Historical Society and its programs, visit


The Kentucky Historical Society Foundation, a 501(c) 3 organization,  works to provide essential funding for KHS programs , impacting students and educators, researchers, and communities through out Kentucky.


Media Contact: Jodi Whitaker, or (859)257-5307


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