Ask a Librarian

Marietta College Home Marietta College Library


Oil Portraits by Sala Bosworth on Exhibit in Library

Four oil paintings by early Ohio artist, Sala Bosworth, are on exhibit in the Schwartz Fireplace Lounge on the first floor of the Legacy Library during the summer and fall of 2012. Paintings on exhibit include:

Portrait of David Putnam, 1830
Oil on canvas
Presented to Marietta College in 1970 by Mrs. Kate M. Putnam Larrabee, Chevy Chase, MD.

Putnam was the first preceptor of the Muskingum Academy. Having graduated from Yale College in 1793, Putnam became preceptor in 1800. After having served as preceptor, he continued his association with the academy for many years thereafter.

Portrait of Phoebe Henderson Linsley
Oil on canvas

Phoebe Henderson Linsley was the wife of the first president of Marietta College, Joel Harvey Linsley, and the mother of the second president, Henry Smith, by her first marriage.

Portraits of Charles Bosworth and Frances Bosworth
Oil on canvas
Presented to Marietta College in 2011 by Ms. Jo Anne Hymes, Milwaukie, OR.

Charles Bosworth was Sala Bosworth's older brother. Charles married Frances Gill Kaye in 1829, the second marriage for both of them.



Sala Bosworth Biography

Sala Bosworth was born on September 15, 1805, in Halifax, Massachusetts to Sala (Sr.) and Rebecca Perkins Bosworth. The family relocated to a farm to the east of Marietta, Ohio, in 1816. He acquired the education that was available in Marietta at the time and studied classics independently. At age 22, Bosworth enrolled in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the leading art school in the country at the time, to begin formal training as a painter. At the conclusion of his studies, he returned to Marietta to begin a career as an artist, specializing in portraiture.

Bosworth was in demand throughout southeast Ohio as a portrait painter and in that connection traveled to Athens, Zanesville, Columbus, Circleville, Chillicothe, and Belpre to ply his trade. Between 1826 and 1834, Bosworth worked with Dr. Samuel P. Hildreth developing illustrations for the important Pioneer History, Being an Account of the First Examinations of the Ohio Valley, and the Early Settlement of the Northwest Territory (Cincinnati: H.W. Derby & Co., 1848). In producing these historical drawings, as well as oil paintings based on them, Bosworth consulted with many of the early settlers of the area, including Colonel Barker, William Dana, Col. Ichabod Nye, Amos Porter, Horace Nye, Charles Shipman, William R. Putnam, and other.

In 1839, Bosworth married Joanna Shipman, daughter of Charles Shipman of Athens and later Marietta, whose portraits he had painted some two years earlier.

Either due to failing eyesight or to the need to supplement his artist's income, Bosworth engaged in various pursuits over the years. He operated a mercantile business beginning in about 1833; he served as auditor of Washington County, 1846-1854; he was appointed postmaster by Abraham Lincoln, serving in that capacity 1861-1870.

Bosworth moved to Cincinnati in 1882 to live with his daughter, Mrs. E.C. Dawes, and lived there until his death on December 22, 1890. During his later years, he adopted watercolor as his medium for painting landscapes.