Explore KY Artist Paul Sawyier

Tour curated by: Amy Roe

The paintings of artist Paul Sawyier are highly popular in Kentucky. In part, Sawyier's renown is due to the recognizable local landmarks and landscapes that are the subject of much of his work. Although Sawyier was not born in Kentucky, he lived the majority of his life in Frankfort with brief periods spent in Covington and on a houseboat on the Kentucky River. Although Sawyier’s final years were spent in the Catskills of New York, the beautiful landscapes of the Bluegrass State continued to be his most consistent artistic theme.

This tour explores Sawyier's boyhood life, artistic training, style, and inspiration, his pivotal friends and patrons, his death in New York, and re-internment in the Frankfort Cemetery.

We hope you will enjoy learning more about one of Kentucky's most beloved artists as well as exploring for yourself the beautiful landscapes that served as his inspiration.

Locations for Tour

Historical Marker #113 commemorates the gravesite of Daniel Boone, who was reinterred in the Frankfort Cemetery in 1845. Kentucky artist Paul Sawyier often worked in the Frankfort Cemetery where one of his subjects was the memorial monument to…

Historical Marker #2293 is located at the Frankfort public library, which is named in honor of noted Kentucky artist Paul Sawyier. The building that initially housed the library was the former United States courthouse and post office. The current…

Historical marker #2204 in Frankfort identifies the boyhood home of Paul Sawyier, one of the most recognized and popular artists in Kentucky. Sawyier's popularity is due in large part to his work being so closely identifiable with particular…

Historical marker #1854 in Kenton County recognizes the artistic contribution of Frank Duveneck, whose home was in Covington, Kentucky. In addition to painting, Duveneck was on the faculty of the Cincinnati Art Academy. There, in 1891, noted…

Historical marker #1780 in Lexington is located at the boyhood home of Kentucky artist Thomas Satterwhite Noble. Noble was a faculty member at the Cincinnati Art School. Painter Paul Sawyier studied under him between 1884 and 1885. Sawyier's…

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…

Historical marker #1513 in Jessamine County commemorates the site of the Camp Nelson Covered Bridge, which was razed in 1933. Kentucky artist Paul Sawyier painted several scenes near Camp Nelson while he was living on his houseboat on the Kentucky…

Historical Marker #1381 near Wilmore pays tribute to High Bridge, which spans the Kentucky River connecting Mercer and Jessamine counties. While living on a houseboat on the Kentucky River, Sawyier spent a good deal of time anchored at High Bridge. …

Historical Marker #1164 in Frankfort recognizes the former site of the Kentucky River Mills, which was the last hemp factory to operate in Kentucky (1878 -1952). Kentucky artist Paul Sawyier briefly worked as a salesman for the mill, beginning in…

Historical Marker #675 in Jessamine County commemorates Kentucky artist Paul Sawyier, who was nicknamed "The River Artist." Sawyier lived in a houseboat on the Kentucky River from the fall of 1908 until 1913. The houseboat served as both…

Historical Marker #2406 commemorates Garden Hall, an elegant Georgian mansion on Wapping Street in Frankfort. The home was built by Graham Vreeland, who was the founder, editor and publisher of the "Frankfort State Journal." In October…