Forrest Sherer Christmas cards

A quirky collection of Christmas cards from the 1960s through the 2000s lined one wall. This seemed odd. Then again I was in a quirky museum in Terre Haute.

The Christmas cards at the Clabber Girl Museum are reproductions of watercolor landscapes of Indiana commissioned by a local insurance company, Forrest Sherer. Starting in 1961, Forrest Sherer hired beloved local artist D. Omer “Salty” Seamon to create a watercolor painting of a Wabash Valley landscape or historic site for their annual Christmas card. (I wonder how many of these greeting cards are tucked away in attics or basements.)

Some subject matter I recognized, if not by sight than by the name: snow on the bridge at Turkey Run State Park, the Wabash and Erie Canal. Most I didn’t recognized: Wiley High School 1965, the historic Markle’s Mill.

Seamon was a prolific artist, creating over 5,000 watercolor paintings. In 1980, he was awarded the “Sagamore of the Wabash”, an award given to Hoosiers for distinguished service.

After Seamon passed away in 1997, his protégé C. Robert Follett continued the tradition of creating watercolor paintings of Indiana for use as Forrest Sherer Christmas cards.

The collection at the Clabber Girl Museum includes the Forrest Sherer Christmas cards with both of their artwork.

After Seamon’s death, his wife bequeathed all of his artwork to Rose-Hulman, which became the recipient of the largest collection of his works. His permanent collection is on display at Hadley Hall. (Disclaimer: I haven’t gone to see it yet. Presumably it is accessible to the public.) Prints of his work are for sale at the bookstore.

Or you could wander to the Clabber Girl Museum in Terre Haute to catch a glimpse of this quirky little collection of Christmas cards with his artwork commissioned by a local insurance company.

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