Covenant Shores Unveils Donated Sallman Work

Sallman draws Head of Christ at the Covenant congregation in Portage, Indiana.

MERCER ISLAND, WA (November 25, 2018) – A 55-year-old original chalk drawing of Warner Sallman’s Head of Christ was unveiled at Covenant Shores Retirement Community and dedicated at a Thanksgiving Eve service last week.

Sallman, who was a Covenanter, sketched the piece in 1963 at the Evangelical Covenant Church of Portage, Indiana. When the congregation closed earlier this year, the work was donated to Covenant Shores.

In 2015 Covenant Shores hosted an exhibit of Sallman’s work to celebrate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the first color oil painting of Head of Christ, which is recognized around the world. Yet the retirement community didn’t own an original drawing or painting, so chaplain Greg Asimakoupoulos asked Rob Hall of National Covenant Properties to let him know if he ever came across one in his work with churches.

While working with the Portage congregation through its process of closing, Hall thought of Covenant Shores. “When a Covenant church closes, NCP assists with the sale of real property and the disposition of personal property,” Hall said. “We often struggle when it comes to finding an appropriate home for items such as this Sallman. When Greg asked me to keep my eyes open for a chalk Sallman, I was excited to a have a place for a piece like this. Now it can be viewed and enjoyed for years to come.”

Sallman drew the original for the premier issue of The Covenant Companion, which was published in December 1923. At the time, the two-foot-by-two-foot drawing was titled Son of Man.

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Stan Friedman is the news and online editor for the Covenant Companion and is grateful for the opportunity to serve in a job that combines his newspaper and pastoral ministry experience. He has been to 15 Bruce Springsteen concerts in four cities and listened to “Thunder Road” an average of at least once a day for 41 years.

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1 Comment

  1. I was very pleased to read this article and to learn that the “Sallman Head of Christ” is now at Covenant Shores, near me. As a young girl I grew up in Presbyterian and Methodist churches where the roots of my faith began. When I made the Covenant denomination my home I was thrilled to learn that Mr. Sallman was also a Covenanter. My Covenant home is Highland Covenant in Bellevue, WA. My Mother liked this portrait and purchased a small, inexpensive copy. Before she passed away in 2001 she had passed it along to me. It sits by my kitchen sink to remind me of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as well as the beautiful memories of my beautiful Mother Marion Gardiner Poage! Thank you for sharing this story.

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