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Paul Sargent Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 01EIU-081

Scope and Contents

This collection of papers pertains to the life of Paul Sargent, artist, from Coles County, Illinois. They are of personal and public nature covering letters, class lecture notes, newspaper articles and exhibit guides. There are also various photographs that deal with family and professional subjects. Of special interest are biographies of Paul Sargent, some hand written by his brother. The time period of these papers is from 1889 to the 1970's. In 2003 21 letters were donated by Dr. Dario Covi and added to the collection.


  • Created: 1889-1972


Conditions Governing Access

No special conditions exist for access to these records

Biographical or Historical Information

Paul Turner Sargent was born on July 23, 1880, in Hutton, Illinois to John and Anne Marie Sargent. In 1889, he attended Westfield College, Westfield, Illinois, for a year. From 1900 to 1906, he was a student at Eastern Illinois State Normal School and was a member of its first football team. While there, he assisted in illustrating a botany text book written by faculty member, Otis Caldwell. These illustrations were pen and ink drawing of flowers and plants in wildlife. Caldwell helped Sargent get similar work and the University of Chicago to help finance his studies at the Art Institute of Chicago. Sargent attended the Art Institute for six years, until 1912. He studied under John Henry Vanderpoel, Henry Wood Stevens and Charles Frances Browne. While at the Art Institute, Sargent won three mural competitions, the completed projects which were to be displayed in public buildings. These murals included, "John [sic] Rogers Clark Crossing Illinois to Capture Vincennes," in the John Smythe School, "Robin Hood Shooting Before the King and Queen," in the Crippled Children's Home, and "John Smith Landing at Jamestown," at the Sherman Park Field House. Throughout his career, Sargent's paintings received many honorable mentions by the Art Institute. After he finished at the Art Institute, Sargent and other artists formed a freelance art business in Chicago. Sargent disliked this work and returned to the family farm in Hutton to pursue a career as a professional artist. He continued to contribute to exhibitions at the Art Institute, and in 1913, to the second annual exhibition of the Art Association of Charleston. In 1920, he made his first visit to Brown County, Indiana, and joined an established colony of artists. There he helped to form the Brown County Art Association. In 1922, Sargent's painting, "The Water Boy," was purchased by the Marshall Field Company for reproduction in calendars. The original painting hangs in Chicago at the Butler School. During the 1930's, Sargent taught painting at Eastern. In 1934, Sargent received another honor. He received the Frederick Nelson Vance prize given by the Brown County Galleries Association for the best picture of the year, "Harvest Scene." He began to appear in the publication, Who's Who in Art, in 1939. Although he had problems selling paintings during the Depression, he finally had success after World War II. Sargent never married, but his family consisted of two brothers, John and Sam. Sargent believed in the Kereshan faith which had headquarters in Esto, Florida. Those who believed in this religion saw good in every living thing and sought to protect it. Sargent died on February 7, 1946, at the age of sixty-five, due to a heart attack at his family home in Hutton. Paul Sargent was known for his landscape paintings. He painted many familiar scenes of Hutton and Coles County. He traveled throughout Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida and California. Traveling helped to provide many landscapes for Sargent to paint. His paintings were on exhibit in such places as the University of Illinois; Indiana University; Liebers Art Gallery in Indianapolis; the Sheldon Swope Gallery in Terre Haute, Indiana; Hollywood Park Library, Hollywood, California; Tuesday Afternoon Club, Los Angeles, California; and art centers in the Everglades, Florida. During his career, he was a member of Kappa Phi, honorary art fraternity, the Hoosier Salon in Chicago and Indianapolis, and the College of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Illinois. His paintings can currently be found in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Indiana University, University of Illinois, the Sheldon Swope Gallery, Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Illinois, and the Henry Ford Museum in Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Michigan.

Note written by


1.00 boxes

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

Arrangement of the series is by topic, and within each folder by chronological order. Most papers had no apparent order with relation to any other group of papers. It was felt, therefore, that arrangement by topics would prove to be the most useful for the researcher without compromising the context of the materials.

Processing Information

This collection was arranged and described by the Historical Administration class of 1989-1990.

Biehl, Barbara; Weipert, Eve; Rieber, Marie; Shaw, Mary Beth; Whitmal, Angela; Haake, Susan
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

600 Lincoln Ave
Booth Library
Charleston IL 61920 US
217-581-7534 (Fax)