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Charles A. Savage photographs and other material

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: RITArc-0149

Scope and Contents

The Charles A. Savage photographs and other material consist of 23 prints created by Savage. The prints vary in size, however, all of the photographs are 10x13 inches or larger. The collection contains mostly studio portraits of various individuals including Mark Ellingson and Frank Clement. The one exception is an outdoor snapshot of a cow. Six of the images are in color, while the remaining images are black and white.

Additionally, the collection includes a folder of biographical material related to Savage. This consists of a copy of an article that Savage wrote, his official transcript from the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI), a clipping on his retirement, and information on his military service during World War II.


  • Creation: circa 1932-1966


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Charles A. Savage (1912-1972) was born on June 26, 1912 and grew up in Warren, PA. His father owned a portrait studio, so Savage was introduced to the field of photography at an early age. In September 1931, he entered the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute's (RAMI) newly formed photography program. He graduated in June 1933 and moved back to Pennsylvania where he worked as a professional photographer.

Savage returned to RAMI in 1937 as an assistant professor. At the time, the school's Department of Photographic Technology (founded 1930) consisted of two full-time faculty members: C. B. Neblette and Frederick W. Brehm. Savage joined the department to help teach courses related to professional photography as opposed to technical photography. In March 1943, Savage enlisted in the U.S. Military and served for the remainder of World War II.

Following the war, Savage returned to RAMI where he continued to teach classes. His primary interests were in portraiture and studio management and he taught primarily portrait photography courses. In addition, Savage served as the Assistant to the Director of the School of Photography, scheduling classes, advising students, and overseeing the everyday aspects of the school's operations. In 1939, Savage collaborated with another new faculty member in the department, Wallis E. Dobbs, to write Your Camera and How it Works. Known affectionately by the students as "Uncle Charles," Savage retired from the university (renamed the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1944) in 1966.

Upon retiring, Savage planned on traveling with his wife, Alice, particularly to the western United States. He and his wife had built a cabin on the Allegheny River near Warren, PA where the couple planned to spend some of their time. Savage died in June 1972.


2.15 Linear Feet (1 lid box)




Photographs taken by Charles A. Savage, a former professor of photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Savage taught at the Institute from 1937-1966. The collection includes 23 prints as well as a few pieces of biographical information.


Materials are contained in a single box.

Physical Location

C.S. Mid-Range, Shelf 42

Other Finding Aids

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

Charles A. Savage photographs and other material

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in April 2011.

Charles A. Savage photographs and other material
RIT Archives
Lara Nicosia
12 April 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA