Warner Sallman: Personal Stories

painting of Jesus Christ


Where do you remember seeing an image created by Warner Sallman? We are happy to share stories about the Warner Sallman collection as recalled by alumni and friends. You are also invited to share your story using the online form below, and we may even share your story (with your permission) with others to enjoy.

The Master Healer
By Joyce Day

Growing up in Clarksburg, W.Va., I remember visiting family members in the local hospital. I was always fascinated by this huge painting of Jesus healing a man lying by a pool. Now, 40+ years later, I just saw that same painting in the new Clarksburg hospital. Reading the plaque, I discovered that it was one of two paintings done by Warner Sallman for hospitals. This one is The Master Healer. Who knows, maybe the powerful image of that painting contributed to my call to ordained ministry years after the fact.

A friend in Jesus
By Liz Graham

I had a beautiful picture over my bed as a little girl. It was a child, Jesus, sitting on his mother’s lap looking out over the distance. It was so peaceful, and it made me feel Jesus was my friend. This was in the early 1960s. this week, as I emptied my parents’ home as my dad is about to die, I found the picture stored in the attic. It is not in great shape but reminds me of being a trusting child. My mom has been gone for almost 20 years and my dad will join her soon.

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.

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.

You’re invited to share your story…