The Warner Sallman Collection

A shelter from the storm

by Cora Holmes

My late husband, Milton Holmes, owned and operated Chernofski Sheep Ranch on Unalaska Island in the Bering Sea. During the 1970s he was oftentimes alone on the vast ranch. In one of these solitary stints a fishing vessel sought out Chernofski Harbor for protection against a violent storm. Milton invited the crew ashore to share a meal and news of the outside world. After the visitors returned to their boat the skipper returned with the framed picture, Christ Our Pilot, painted on Masonite and signed Sallman, 1950. he said, “You need this more than I do.” For the next 30 years that picture has graced a wall in our house.

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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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