The Old State House

Historical Marker #1524 is located on the Old State Capitol grounds in Frankfort, where artist Paul Sawyier painted many landmarks. These included the town's old covered bridge, the fountain in front of the old post office and court house, and the Old State Capitol. Many of Sawyier's Frankfort cityscapes include the steeples of the county courthouse, Good Shepherd Church, and the old federal courthouse.

During Sawyier's lifetime his works were popular in central Kentucky, particularly in Frankfort. His paintings continue to be admired, and, in 1972, the commonwealth honored Sawyier long after his death as a "Kentucky Heritage Artist."

Sawyier has received little recognition outside of Kentucky and there have been few exhibitions that have included his work. Three Sawyier paintings were part of an exhibition in 1965 at the University of New Mexico Art Gallery entitled, "Impressions in America." This same exhibit was also shown in San Francisco at the De Young Memorial Museum. Interestingly, even though some of his most critically acclaimed paintings were done while living in the Catskills region of New York, he fell into complete obscurity in that region after his death.

Today, the Kentucky Historical Society has the world's largest collection of Paul Sawyier paintings.


Wapping Street

Wapping Street

Painting of Wapping Street by Paul Sawyier. Photo courtesy of the University of Kentucky. View File Details Page

Drinking Fountain at Post Office

Drinking Fountain at Post Office

Painting by Paul Sawyier of the drinking fountain in front of what was then the post office on Wapping Street in Frankfort.. Photo courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Old State Capitol

Old State Capitol

Photo of the Old State Capitol on Broadway in Frankfort. Photo courtesy of Amy Roe. View File Details Page


Old State Capitol Tour

This is a school tour of the Old State Capitol in Frankfort.
Video courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Amy Roe, “The Old State House,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed July 24, 2017,


Share this Story