Chandler Farm, James J. Sawyer (1813-1888), Pomfret, Connecticut, 1858
In 1839, James Jones Sawyer left Pomfret, Connecticut, to embark on a career as an artist in New York City. There he found a patron in Henry C. Bowen. Although Sawyer exhibited at the National Academy of Design, his real success began after he returned to Connecticut, no doubt with Bowen’s support. He enjoyed a prolific and varied career painting portraits of prominent citizens, copying ancestral portraits, and painting scenes from nature like this detailed painting of Chandler Farm in Pomfret, Connecticut.
Chandler Farm is typical of the productive farms that dotted the New England landscape in the mid nineteenth century when ninety percent of the population was still engaged in some form of agriculture. It was then owned by John Chandler, the fourth generation of his family to work the hundred-acre plot of land. The main farmhouse and large barn are surrounded by numerous outbuildings. Well-maintained stone walls and fences separate specific areas, including the piggery and the tidy kitchen garden.
Chandler Farm was the home of Ellen Holt, second wife of Henry Bowen.