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 Edward Savage  (1761 - 1817)

About: Edward Savage


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Lived/Active: Pennsylvania/Massachusetts      Known for: portrait, landscape, and history painting, engraving

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BIOGRAPHY for Edward Savage
1761 (Princeton, Massachusetts)
1817 (Princeton, Massachusetts)


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portrait, landscape, and history painting, engraving

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San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Princeton, Massachusetts, Edward Savage was a self-taught portraitist whose subject included George Washington.  It is possible he copied John Singleton Copley's work to learn portraiture.  In the mid-1770s, he began his career in Boston and then went to New York to paint George Washington's portrait, commissioned by Harvard University.

In 1790, John Adams commissioned him to do portraits of George and Martha Washington.  From 1791 to 1793, he studied abroad and learned the art of engraving and may have studied with Benjamin West.  In 1795, he settled in Philadelphia and completed a work, The Washington Family, a panorama over 9 feet long that was the high point of his career.  He charged admission to view it, and it was unique because it was the first panorama of the Federalist period.  P.T. Barnum became the eventual owner of this work, but Savage did an engraving of it, likely with the help of an assistant.

Savage stayed in New York until 1810, running his Columbian Gallery that had a natural history exhibit, and then moved to Boston, where he opened the same type of gallery.

He died in Princeton, Massachusetts, his birth place, in 1817.

Sources include:
Peter Falk, Who Was Who in American Art
Matthew Baigell, Dictionary of American Art

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