The Warner Sallman Collection

Category: Personal Stories

The picture on Nanny’s wall

by Susan Fielder

It took me 40 years to overcome growing up in an atheist home. My mother grew up in church, but renounced it after marrying my father when she was 16. Religion was never spoken of in my family. But my mother’s mother, my beloved Nanny, had the classic head picture of Christ on her living room wall. It has been more than 30 years since I last saw that picture, placed in a prominent position on my Nanny’s wall, but I have never forgotten it. Christ saved me at age 42. I like to imagine that maybe when I was 2 or 3, I asked my Nanny or Papa who that Man was in the picture, and they told me of the saving grace of Jesus. I know Christ has been with me every step of my life, both before and after accepting him as my Savior. My parents didn’t want me to know Him, but He spoke to me through that image … it just took me a long time to listen hard enough to hear it. God bless this endeavor and thank you for reminding me of how beautiful the Son of Man is and has always been.

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Remembering a family friend

by Suzanne Apgar

Warner Sallman was a family friend. I lived on Bryn Mawr Ave. and attended the Swedish Covenant Church, where Mr. Sallman and his wife, Ruth, were members. When I was baptised in 1952, at the age of six, I was given an autographed print of “The Head of Christ”. The last time I saw him was Christmas Eve, 1959, at the midnight service at SCC. Mr. Sallman was presenting a pastel of Mother and Child during the service. Afterward, my mother went to speak with some old friends and I waited for her at the back of the sanctuary. Suddenly, someone put his arms around me from behind and said, “Suzie, how are you?” It was Mr. Sallman. When you look up the definition of “Christian”, Warner Sallman’s picture should appear. He was a truly kind and generous man. I will never forget him.

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No words were ever needed

by Patty Strong

As a child I would stay at my Grandma’s house. I would have a hard time falling asleep, but there was this picture of Christ holding the sheep in the bedroom I slept in. It always gave me great comfort and I would then fall peacefully asleep. When she died in 1976 I asked and received that picture. It hung in my home for many years, but after a move it ended up in my basement until today. As I was going through some things I came across it … the flood of emotions!!! Now reading about the artist makes it even more special. My Grandparents were immigrants and did not speak English, but with this amazing picture no words were ever needed.

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