Wells Moses Sawyer

Moses Wells Sawyer (January 31, 1863 – March 21, 1960) was an American painter, illustrator, and photographer. He took photographs and made paintings of discoveries from the Pepper-Hearst Expedition. The Florida Museum of Natural History has a few of his photographs. He with has works at the National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution and the University Museum at University of Pennsylvania. The Library of Florida History and Smithsonian have collections of his papers.

Sawyer was born in Keokuk, Iowa to Moses Calvin Sawyer and Helen Jane Cass Sawyer. He established a take action degree in 1882, but pursued a career in art after studying subsequent to John Vanderpoel at the Art Institute of Chicago. He was an illustrator for the Chicago Daily News and the Chicago Tribune before becoming a draughtsman for the U.S. Geological Survey office in Washington D.C. for the separation of illustration. Sawyer's photographs, sketches, and watercolors from Pepper's expedition are whatever that remain of many of the finds that deteriorated soon after discovery.

Sawyer married Kathleen Bailey after his reward from the Florida expedition and they had two children, Helen and Bailey (Bill). Sawyer lived in New York until retiring to Spain in sick health and continuing to paint in Europe as competently as Central and South America. He relocated over to Sarasota, Florida in 1944. His memberships included the Art Students League, Salmagundi Club, and American Watercolor Society.

By 1931 he was painting landscapes and castles.

His daughter Helen Alton Sawyer and her husband Jerry Farnsworth were afterward artists.

The University of Florida library has several photos of him including one of him painting a landscape on Cape Cod, another outside once his wife Kathleen Alton Bailey Sawyer, and one in the midst of prominent friends.

In 2019 a historical action reenactor way in his letter from aboard the Sea Breeze on the 1895-96 expedition. Gulf Coast University offered a 2-hour seminar on Sawyer in fall 2019.

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