Dayton Society of Artists

Dayton Society of Artists
The Dayton Society of Artists is hosting an exhibition for new artists called Emergence 2022. Current students and recent graduates (from the classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022) were eligible to submit artwork for consideration. Must be at least 18 years old and work, reside, or go to school within forty miles of the gallery. Charles Jiao, a community member, is being highlighted in our Project Space.

The Dayton Society of Artists, sometimes known simply as the DSA, is Dayton's most prestigious art group. In 1938, a group of artists, in partnership with the Dayton Art Institute, established what was then known as the Dayton Society of Painters and Sculptors. For many years, the Dayton Art Institute was the location for the organization's meetings and displays. During the urban renewal project in Dayton in the 1960s, the gallery members acquired the Victorian-style home located at 48 High Street for the price of $6,525. This gave them the chance to open their gallery. During that period, the group submitted its paperwork to become an official non-profit and was granted that status. The house underwent renovation and became an art gallery. The DSA is now working to make further enhancements while maintaining the property's historic appearance and the allure of the 19th century. In 2012, the rear ramp was constructed to improve accessibility. In 2016, the organization's name, which had previously been known as the Dayton Society of Painters and Sculptors, was changed to the more generic Dayton Society of Artists. The upper bedrooms are leased out as private art studios to contribute financially to the organization's operational expenditures and assist the artists who are members of the organization. Browse around this site.


Wesley Boren was the architect and constructor of number 48 High Street. On December 2, 1816, he was born in Washington County, Tennessee. He passed away at the age of 88 on October 10, 1903, at his residence at 48 High Street. In 1836, Wesley Boren left Jonesboro, Tennessee, carrying his little possessions in a handkerchief and walking to Dayton, Ohio. He found employment with a brick constructor named Daniel Richmonds, who was his mentor and taught him the profession. The wedding occurred on November 6th, 1842, between Wesley and Lydia Coblentz.

Wesley established his own company in 1843 and rose to prominence via the operation of a brick-making yard located east of Smithville on Xenia Pike, close to the Linden Avenue railroad crossing. During his career as a brick constructor, he was responsible for constructing many structures in the Dayton region. These included the Old Market House, the Ropers Methodist Church, located at Fifth and Jackson in the current Oregon District region, and Saint Elizabeth Hospital, Dayton's first hospital situated on Franklin Street. It contained 12 beds. The original name of Saint Elizabeth Hospital was St. Elizabeth Medical Center (1969), but it was later renamed Franciscan Medical Center (1996).

Early in his life, Wesley Boren made his home in the area that is now known as the Oregon District on Green Street. During the Civil War, he made his home near the intersection of Van Buren and Cass Streets. In 1868, he made a significant investment in the stone quarrying industry by purchasing two properties on High Street from William Dickey. In 1869, Wesley broke ground on his new home at 48 High Street. His whole life was spent there with the rest of his family.

In 1866, Wesley's oldest daughter, Amanda, tied the knot with William Pritz. William was one of 10 children born to Adam Pritz, a well-known maker of agricultural equipment. The company's primary products were mowers and harvesters.

William served as a volunteer clerk in the 93rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry sometime during the American Civil War (between 1861 and 1865). During that time, Wesley and Amanda called 48 High Street home. William started the construction of a home for his family at 56 High Street, just south of the intersection, in 1875. The family remained there until 1883, when they uprooted and relocated to St. Paul, Minnesota. William was offered a position as the supervisor of St. Paul Harvester Works at that time.

William Pritz moved back to Dayton in 1890 and took a job as the supervisor of the Stoddard Manufacturing Company. The company produced agricultural implements at the time but would eventually transition into the automotive manufacturing industry. He relocated to the same address at 56 High Street. William established the Ohio Bedsprings Company in 1893, the same year he went into business for himself.

After Wesley Boren passed away in 1903, the Pritz family decided to relocate to 48 High Street because they perceived it to be an objectively superior home. The flood that occurred in 1913 did not reach High Street (the water had stopped at Eagle Street). The Pritz family, however, became terrified and hastily relocated to the higher ground temporarily.

At their home located at 48 High Street on the 11th of March in 1916, Mr. and Mrs. Pritz celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with a huge party attended by many people. On April 17, 1916, as Mr. Pritz was sitting at the breakfast table, he collapsed and later died from heart failure.

As you entered the building, the front parlor was the first room on the left. The chamber that followed was used as a sitting room. Following their retirement, Mr. and Mrs. Boren converted the sitting room's library into their bedroom so they could have more space. These double doors have since been removed from the left side of the room. The first eating area was located in the space that followed the kitchen. On the other side of this was a brick kitchen that had one level and was demolished in 1942. Both the porch on the side that faced the backyard and the porch on the south side of the kitchen was open for business.

William and Amanda Pritz have eight children. One of their offspring, Mrs. Helen Pritz Hammond, had an art appreciation and made several trips to the gallery before she passed away at the age of 104. When the Dayton Society of Painters and Sculptors was in the process of purchasing the home, Helen penned a letter that was sent to Hubert Meeker of the "Journal Herald." An extract from her letter may be found as follows: "This house was the residence of my grandparents until their deaths. They spent many years there enjoying a graceful and dignified lifestyle, culminating in a peaceful old age. They passed away at the ages of 86 and 85, held in high regard by their contemporaries and friends, and cherished by their offspring.

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