Jerry Farnsworth



Jerry Farnsworth, one of the most renowned portrait painters in America, studied with Charles Hawthorne in Provincetown, MA and was married to  artist Helen Sawyer. In the 1930's, he was commissioned by Time magazine to paint celebrities for the covers. His portrait of Hitler petting his dog was the first color cover for Time magazine.

In 1993 he was elected to the National Academy of Design.  He operated two art schools, one on Cape Cod, the other in Sarasota .  He was Carnegie Visiting Professor of Art and Artist in residence at the University of Illinois . 

Farnsworth also taught at the Art Students League in New York . One of his major commissions was the portrait of President Truman and the President’s mother. He also published several books on the technique of painting 

Farnsworth became the father figure of the Sarasota art colony. In the 1950's, he organized weekly meetings luncheons where artists would met to discuss current events in the art world.

"An artist paints something everyone else passes up, and makes it beautiful - that's the painter's job."

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Yellow Bonnett


Yellow Bonnet







1925-27 Hallgarten Prize for promising artists under the age of 35

1933  Thomas B. Clarke Prize and was an Associate in the National Academy

1935  made a full member of the National Academy of Design and was the youngest member

1936 Isidor Medal for figural work

1938  Altman Prize for figural or genre painting

-Widely exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Faine Arts,

-Carnegie Institute, Toledo,

-Museum of Art and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

1970  By this time he had over 30 museums thoughout the country


Farnsworth wrote three books on painting:

Portrait and Figure Painting

Learning to Paint in Oil

Learning How to Paint with Farnsworth


During World War I, he served in the Navy and was able to study at the Corcoran School of Art, with Charles W Hawthorne, while stationed in Washington, D.C.  He continued his education at the Cape Cod School of Art. There he met fellow student Helen Sawyer, whom he would marry in 1925. Together they would educate thousands of students.


1926-27  Farnsworth's early career was an art instructor at Art Students League

1936  Instructor at the Central School of Art.

1933-37  Farnsworth Summer School in Wellfleet, Massachusetts

1938-39   Provincetown

1940-63  North Truro, MA, spending their winters in a Greenwich home and operating a sister school in Sarasota, Florida during the 1940's and '50's.