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Case Auctions
Live Auction

Summer Fine Art & Antiques Auction - Day 1

Sat, Jul 8, 2023 09:00AM EDT
Lot 155

Bill Sawyer Oil on Board Painting, "Fishing Worms"

Estimate: $3,000 - $3,400
Sold for

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$100 $25
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Bill Sawyer (American/Tennessee, 1936-2020) oil on board painting depicting a large old white house and outbuildings, set in a stark winter landscape with bare trees. The sole splashes of color come from the blue jeans and red pinafore of a man and child, standing on the porch, and from a homemade, red-lettered sign advertising "Fishing Worms", sticking out of the grass beside a dirt road. Signed "Bill Sawyer" lower left, near road. Housed in a stained wood frame with linen mat. Lyzon Gallery (Nashville) framing label en verso. Board - 18" H x 24" W. Frame - 25" H x 31" W. Biography: Bill Sawyer was a self-taught artist from Nashville. He is said to have taken up painting while stationed in France in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 1950s. 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 show at the gallery, and his second show there, in 1966, sold out. Shortly after this time, Sawyer traveled overseas. After his trip, for unknown reasons, Sawyer seems to have never painted again. He sought privacy, living quietly in Nashville, where he passed away in 2020. After 1966, his work went on to be exhibited at the Fine Arts Center at Cheekwood, and in the Art of Tennessee exhibit at the Frist Museum (2006).


A few tiny inclusions to roof and one miniscule stain in sky area, otherwise excellent condition.

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Bank: Pinnacle Bank
150 Third Avenue South, Suite 900
Nashville, TN 37201
Phone # (865) 766-3000
Swift Code: PNFPUS44
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4310 Papermill Drive
Knoxville, TN 37909
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The collection of Marlin Phythyon Sanders, Nashville, Tennessee.