My great grandfather Benjamin V. Marsh, sat in this chair at every meal. This chair was for him, and there was another one that my great grandmother liked to sit in. When these chairs went to live with my parents, my father sat in this one and my mother sat in the other. His and hers. I'll have to paint hers.
This little chair came from Ogden, Utah, and is one of the chairs made by my ancestor who settled there. It came into my dad's possession with three others. One is the youth chair that I love to paint, the other I haven't painted yet, and the last one is represented in the Chair Memorial painting.
This painting is based off of a photograph of my dad when he was a
baby. He's sitting in the chair that I have painted many times. It's
my favorite chair to paint. It was made by his pioneer ancestor who
ended up in Ogden, Utah. His dad's sisters had it until my dad asked
for it many years ago. I don't know if he was aware of this
photograph. I got it from his sister, Anne, not too many years ago.
The chair must have been meaningful to the photographer, who I assume is
one of his parents. It looks like it was pulled out of an outbuilding,
was covered in cobwebs, and has a broken arm at a crazy angle. It
meant enough for them to put their little son in it, to remember the
It was poignant and kind of strange for me to be painting this while
looking at the photograph for reference, and then looking at the actual
chair. It was already worn in the same places as it was when my dad was
a baby. The rungs grooved where feet would go. The arm, fixed by a
large headed nail, holding it in the right spot. My dad, as a baby.
How time flies. Things last longer than people sometimes. But how
fitting to have this painting in the midst of the other chair paintings
I'm doing. The show is full of chairs that were meaningful to my dad in
some way. It's for him, and here's his opportunity to be in it.
This was painted as a way to honor my dad on the 6th year after his passing. He loved this chair, which he called a high chair, even though it wasn't made for babies. It was made for younger children who were able to sit on their own, but weren't quite tall enough to reach the table. It came from my dad's family in Ogden. Hanging on the back is his favorite hat, woven from the wool of the sheep, which he wore when he was in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia in the 60's, and afterwards on special occasions. Leaning on the chair is his favorite walking stick. It's also from Ethiopia. My dad got it from a guide that was leading him through the mountains of Ethiopia. The guide used the top end to poke and stir the fire. The stick is gnarled beautiful. My dad said that the guide was reluctant to part with it, but in the end he gave it to my dad. He loved it and cared for it for the rest of his life. It still has a charred end.