Artists & Architects

Eugene Francis Savage1883 - 1978

place of birth: United States of America , Covington
place of death: United States of America , Waterbury

ANA 1924; NA 1926

Savage's father was a banker and his mother was a musician and amateur painter. His father died when he was three years old. In 1899 he moved with his family to Washington, DC, where he attended Gonzaga College and the Corcoran School of Art. After his mother died in 1900, Eugene and his sister and brother returned to Covington. In March of 1909 Eugene moved to Chicago where he worked for an engraving house and took night classes at the Art Institute with Willington J. Reynolds. After he was able to support himself by working only three days a week, he began to attend day classes. While in Chicago he married a young medical student. In 1912 Savage won the Prix de Rome which enabled him to spend three years at the American Academy. He copied murals by Giotto, Massacio, Piero della Francesca and Michelangelo. He then spent three months studying in Munich with von Groeber. Upon his return to the United States he taught at Cooper Union and Carnegie Tech. He was appointed professor of paintng at Yale in 1924 and remained there until 1958. He taught Renaissance painting techniques and conducted classes in the "workshop" manner. His work includes murals for the Elks National Memorial Building, Chicago (1929); "The Imagination that Directs the University's Spiritual and Intellectual Efforts", Sterling Library, Yale University (1931); "Videbimus Lumen," Butler Library, Columbia University (1934); "The Litany of the Mail," Post Office Building, Washington, DC (1938); the exterior facade of the Communications Building, New York World's Fair (1939); "Spirit of the Land Grand College:, Memorial Center, Purdue University (1961); and the Dome of the Court of Appeals Building, Albay, NY (1962). In 1963 the NAD Abbey Mural Committee awarded Savage the Commission to do a mural cycle for the House of Representatives of the State Capitol of Indiana. Savage also served on the National Commission of Fine Arts in the 1930s.