|Frank E. Case|
|Death Date: 1933
|The delightful example of naïve painting in “Early Canton” represents the town square of Canton, circa 1875, as remembered by Frank E. Case and described to artist Albert Saddler. For many years it was believed that Mr. Case himself had painted this scene, aided in part by his friend, Albert Saddler, the step-son of his gardener. In 1975 when the piece was on exhibit Mr. Saddler, now an elderly gentleman, stepped forward to set the story straight. “True," Mr. Saddler explained, “Mr. Case was an amateur painter and had just sketched in a few buildings on a larger four-by-seven foot canvas for the early Canton scene when he suffered a stroke. Unable to paint but determined that his memory of downtown Canton be preserved he “dictated” the image to me."
Case was not only an amateur artist but also an art patron. He had a dream that his home, the Case Mansion, would one day serve Canton as an art museum, but when he died in 1932 he was penniless. A neighbor who wished to remain anonymous, later identified as Frederick W. Preyer, knowing of Case’s wishes, purchased the mansion and donated it as the first permanent home for the Canton Art Institute, now known as the Canton Museum of Art. The Case Mansion served that purpose until 1970 when the Institute moved to the Cultural Center for the Arts. Sadly, the mansion was demolished in 1990.