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Henry Sayles

Object Details

Phillip Ratner
c. 1977
graphite on paper
Frame: 18 1/4 × 15 1/4 × 3/4 in. (46.4 × 38.8 × 1.9 cm)
After moving to Anacostia from Welcome, Maryland in the late 1800s, businessman Henry Sayles started a successful company selling coal, wood, feed, gasoline, and ice. In addition to these essentials, the store sold cigars, ice cream, and fruit. It was located in a commercial complex on Nichols (now Martin Luther King Jr.) Avenue, and Sayles later built a house near the store where he raised his four children.
In this portrait, details such as Sayles’s collar, bowtie, handlebar mustache, and neat hairstyle signal his membership in the mercantile class.
In 1977, the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum’s Board of Directors voted to include Sayles’ portrait in “Phil Ratner’s Washington,” an exhibition honoring current and former Anacostia residents who contributed to the civic life of the community.
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