Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Photo Easel Carved by James Robert “Blind Jim” Sapp

Boone County Historical Society collection. Donated by Eugene and Doris Hamilton.

James Robert Sapp was born in 1853 in Cedar township, Boone county, Missouri, of William T. and Louisa P. Risk Sapp. He was blinded at around the age of eight while playing with gunpowder. Educated at the St. Louis School for the Blind, he became a broom-maker and lived a very independent life around Ashland. He married Mary Smith, who was also blind, at the age of 70. The easel, carved from walnut and designed to support a large painting or framed picture, also has an opening at the top for a smaller photograph. It stands about 5 feet tall and shows amazing carved detail.

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