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Charles Nicholas Sarka
American
(1879 – 1960)

Charles Nicholas Sarka
Incense, watercolor on paper; 13.5 by 19.5 inches (image);
21 by 27 inches (with mat and frame); signed lower left
Charles Nicholas Sarka was born in Chicago in 1879. Showing artistic aptitude as a child, he apprenticed as an engraver at age eleven. He eventually became a staff artist for the Chicago Record and then the New York Herald. As a young man, Sarka traveled extensively, sometimes in the company of well known artist and illustrator George “Pop” Hart. His travels included time in Egypt and North Africa, which probably accounts for the orientalist element in his early work. The artist spent most of his life in New York City, where he worked as an illustrator for such popular magazines as Colliers, Cosmopolitan, and Harpers. One of his closest friends was the wildlife artist Paul Bransom. For much of his adult life, too, Sarka kept a summer camp in an artists’ community in the Adirondack mountains of New York. He was a member of the American Watercolor Society, the Society of Independent Artists, and the Society of Illustrators. (Source: Biographical sketch by the artist’s great nephew published in AskArt.)


Charles Nicholas Sarka
Golden Days, watercolor on paper; 13" by 19" (image); 21" by 27" with frame; signed lower right
Sarka’s work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among others.

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