Sawyer Home and Grounds
At the right of the grand hall was the parlor, a beautifully decorated formal room designed and furnished to reflect Mrs. Sawyer’s tastes. The primary purpose of the parlor was to entertain female visitors, and would be closed off by sliding pocket doors when Mrs. Sawyer hosted clubs and held music recitals.
The room was finished in light golden Central American Primavera hardwood, also known as white mahogany, no doubt selected for its rarity. The walls were covered with a golden silk brocade wall covering, designed by Tiffany Studios and likely woven in Belgium. A white marble fireplace sat directly across from an expansive bay window on the east side of the room. Delicate bell flowers were carved into the fireplace mantel, reflecting the highest level of craftsmanship and artistic beauty. Decorative pieces lined the mantel, perhaps purchased in Europe during one of their vacations. The furnishings were similarly elegant, consisting of silk brocade chairs, a sofa and a colonial revival highboy. A hand-woven oriental rug covered the floor and the walls were lined with large oil painted copies of Spanish and Italian religious masterworks.
The Sawyer Parlor remains a warm and inviting room. The original woodwork still adorns the room, and an elegant cherry dining table with seating for twelve, which also belonged to the Sawyers, has replaced original furniture. The parlor is often referred to as the “Gold Gallery” in reference to the golden silk wall covering that drapes the walls, a reproduction of the original Tiffany-designed wall covering. Throughout the year, the parlor accommodates changing exhibits and displays drawn from the Museum’s extensive collections and is a favorite gallery for displaying fine art paintings. Two of the Museum's marble sculptures are exhibited in the parlor, including the Greek maiden Andromeda and Nydia, the Blind Flower Girl of Pompeii, which once belonged to Edgar Sawyer. On occasion, large traveling exhibitions also occupy the parlor.