Charles L. Sallée
Charles Sallée was born in Oberlin, Ohio, but later moved to Sandusky, where his father established a construction contracting company. Sallée learned the building trade from his father but decided to pursue a career in art. In 1931 he moved to Cleveland and attended art classes at Karamu House, then known as the Playhouse Settlement. He studied lithography and etching techniques at the Huntington Poly technic Institute, 1932–33. He attended the Cleveland School of Art, 1933–38, studying with Carl Gaertner, Viktor Schreckengost, Rolf Stoll, and Paul Travis. In 1939 he earned a B.S. in education from Western Reserve College and began teaching art in the Cleveland school system. In 1936 he joined the local chapter of the American Artists’ Congress. Sallée worked on several Works Progress Administration projects, 1936 creating prints, then painting murals. His WPA commissions included work for Sunny Acres Hospital, the Outhwaite Homes, and Cleveland Municipal Airport, as well as the Fort Hays Homes in Columbus, Ohio. He exhibited in the May Shows at the Cleveland Museum of Art (1935–46), and in group exhibitions at Howard University (1937) and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. (1940), the Tanner Art Galleries of Chicago (1940), the Associated American Art Galleries of New York (1941), and Atlanta University (1942). The North Canton Library in Canton, Ohio, organized his first solo exhibition in 1940. He was drafted into the Army Corps of Engineers during World War II and worked as a cartographer and camouflage designer. After the war, he began a career in interior design. For the next four decades, Sallée worked for various interior design firms in Cleveland, designing corporate offices, nightclubs, hotels, and restaurants for such clients as Cleveland Trust, Stouffer Hotel, and the Cleveland Browns.
Transformations in Cleveland Art. (CMA, 1996), p. 236