Paul Turner Sargent
- Brown County
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Paul Sargent was born July 23, 1880 to John and Maria Anna Turner Sargent in Hutton Township, Coles County, Illinois. Sargent showed a deep interest in art from an early age. With the encouragement of family and teachers, he persued his talent.
Sargent began his formal education at Brethren College, in Westfield Illinois. He soon transferred to Eastern Illinois State Normal School in 1900 where he studied with Anna Piper and Otis Caldwell.
After graduating from Illinois State in 1906, Sargent enrolled in the Art Institute where he began his studies with John Vanderpoel, Charles Francis Browne and Henry Stevens. He started freelancing, painting murals around Chicago. He was commisioned to contribute work at the John Smyth School, the Crippled Children’s House and Sherman Park Fieldhouse. He graduated from the Institute in 1912.
Upon graduation, Sargent returned to Charlston where he would remain a resident for the remainder of his career.
In 1920 Adolph Shulz invited him to Brown County and it was at this time that he became a member of the Brown County Artists Gallery. Perhaps with the encouragement of other Brown County artists.
Sargent’s early style of academic realism, characterized by heavy paint application in subdued colors, eventually gave way to a more Impressionistic style. Though sometimes thought of as a Midwestern Impressionist, Sargent never considered himself so, and was more interested with expressionism rather than the modernist theory of color and light that so concerned the Impressionists. In the 1920s he also painted in Los Angeles and established a second home there.
Paul Sargent exhibited in the Chicago Artist Exhibition between 1911 and 1925. He participated in the Hoosier Salon for more than twenty years. His work was also shown at the University of Illinois, The Brown County Art Association Gallery, The Sheldon Swope Gallery in Terre Haute, Indiana University, Liebers Art Gallery in Indianapolis, and Eastern Illinois Teachers College. He taught at Eastern Illinois State College from 1938 until 1942. He also gave private lessons.
He died of heart failure in 1946 and was given a posthumous solo exhibition at Eastern Illinois University later that year.
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