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"While suggesting the essence of the chosen photographic subject, by isolating and simplifying it, or by juxtaposing it with a contrasting idea, these methods have been explored in an attempt to stretch photography with personal interpretation."

Naomi Savage was born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1927. From a very early age, Naomi was interested in the arts. Her mother encouraged her to pursue music, and as the niece of famous Dada and Surrealist painter, sculptor, and photographer, Man Ray, she was able to pursue her interests with much support from her family.

During high school, Naomi attended a class taught by Bernice Abbott, Man Ray's assistant in the 1920s, at the New School for Social Research. She later attended Bennington College, where she studied music and the arts. Shortly after college, she traveled to California to study and apprentice with her uncle, Man Ray. Ray was a great inspiration to the young Naomi; he encouraged her to let her imagination create her art. Savage says later in her life that her strongest inheritance enriching her artistic career came from her uncle, Man Ray. "I never forgot his insightfulness," she said. "With him you could try anything-there was nothing you were told not to do, except spill the chemicals. With Man Ray, you were free to do what your imagination conjured and that kind of encouragement was wonderful."

While the darkroom was her studio for over forty years, later in her career she admitted that she hardly ever used the darkroom anymore. She felt that in would soon become obsolete. The use of color copiers and computer imaging quickly integrated into her works. She once stated, "It doesn't matter how you do it; you can have a color print in five minutes from a computer, whereas it would take three days in the darkroom." This transition of technique is interesting to observe in her career. One of her final passions became integrating bead work into her color copy images. She would string together beads and scan them on a color copier with other objects to produce an assemblage image which she would later manipulate further for a final image.
She had her first exhibition in 1952 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and exhibited there again in 1960, 1966, and 1968. Her work can now be seen in the permanent collections of museums, such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Fogg Museum at Harvard University, among many others. In 2006, eleven of her portraits of American composers were included in the exhibition Gershwin to Gillespie: Portarits in American Music at the Michener Art Museum in New Hope, Pennsylvania.

In 1950, Naomi married painter, sculptor, and architect, David Savage. Shortly after, the couple moved to Lambertville, New Jersey, residing there for three years before moving to Princeton, New Jersey.

Savage experimented with many unique photographic processes and experimental techniques allowing her inventive, free imagination to shine through in all of her works. Her style consistently reflected a sense of playful abstraction. Some of her photographs are pure patterns, while others reflect her sensitivity to form.


Major Exhibitions
Always the Young Stranger, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, 1953
Photography at Mid-Century,
George Eastman House, Rochester, NY, 1958
The Sense of Abstraction
, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, 1960
Photography U.S.A.
, De Cordova Museum, Lincoln, MA, 1962
Photo Exhibition: Extension Study
, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, 1963
Photographs for Collectors
, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, 1966
6 Photographers
, University of Illinois at Urbana, IL, 1967
First National Invitational Photography Exhibition
, San Jose State College, CA, 1967
Photography as Printmaking
, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, 1968
Three Women Photographers
, Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, PA, 1968
Photography U.S.A. #2
, De Cordova Museum, Lincoln, MA, 1968
Three Women Exhibition, Witkin Gallery, New York, NY, 1969
Two Generations of Photographs: Man Ray and Naomi Savage
, New Jersey State Museum, Trenton NJ, 1969
Photography: Current Report II,
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, 1970
Tennis Art Exhibition
, Provident National Bank, Philadelphia, PA, 1971
Photography Exhibition
, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence RI, 1971
Exhibition…quot;Gallery I,
Witkin Gallery, New York, NY, 1972
New Photography U.S.A.
, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, 1972
Light and Lens
, Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY, 1973
Contemporary Photography
, Art Museum, Princeton University, NJ, 1973
New Art from Photosensitized Material
, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, 1973
One Woman Exhibition, Ulster County Community College, NY, 1974
One Woman Exhibition, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL, 1974
Synthetic Color
, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, IL, 1974
New Jersey Photography
, The Art Gallery, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, 1975
Women of Photography
, San Francisco Museum of Art, CA, 1975
One Woman Exhibition, Center for Photographic Studies, Louisville, KY, 1975
There is No Female Camera
, Neikrug Gallery, NY, 1975
Women Look At Women
, University of Bridgeport, CT, 1975
Women in Photography
, Friends of the Crafts, Seattle, WA, 1975
Plates and Prints
, Mercer County Community College, NJ, 1975
, Hunterdon Art Center, Clinton, NJ, 1976
Photographic Works
, One Woman Exhibition, Princeton Gallery of Fine arts, NJ, 1976
Photographic Process as a Medium
, The Art Gallery, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, 1976
Bennington College Alumni Art Salon,
Bennington College, VT, 1976
The Photographers and the Artist
, Sidney Janis Gallery, NY, 1976
One Woman Exhibition, Camera Works Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, 1976
One Woman Exhibition, Madison Art Center, WI, 1977
One Woman Exhibition, Artemesia Gallery, Chicago, IL, 1977
Two Women Exhibition, Witkin Gallery, NY, 1977
Subjective Photography
, Kimmel/Cohn Gallery, NY, 1977
China & Glass Show
, Atlantic City, NJ, 1978
Tennis in Art VII
, First Pennsylvania Bank, Philadelphia, PA, 1978
Women Artists '78
, Graduate Center, City University of New York, 1978
February Photography Show, Present Day Club, Princeton NJ, 1978
Opening Exhibition, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, 1978
Mirrors and Windows
, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, 1978
Portfolio Exhibition, New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ
Portfolio Exhibition, Print Club, Philadelphia, PA, 1979
Portfolio Exhibition, The Newark Museum, Newark, NJ, 1979,
New Jersey Photographers
, Nassau Gallery, Princeton, NJ, 1979
The Target Collections of American Photographers from The Museum of Fine Arts
, Houston, TX, Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY, 1979
Intentions and Techniques
, Lehigh University Collection, Bethlehem, PA, 1979
Exercises in Connoisseurship
, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, 1980
Salford 80
, (Witkin Gallery Exhibition), Manchester, UK, 1980
Anniversary Collector's Show, Witkin Gallery, NY, 1980
New Directions
, Commodities Corporate Collection, Sidney Janis Gallery, NY, 1981
Works on Paper
, Princeton Gallery of Fine Art, NJ, 1981
Photography: A Personal View
, Morris Museum of Arts and Sciences, Morristown, NJ, 1981
Portfolio Exhibition, Elaine Starkman Gallery, NY, 1981
Photographer as Printmaker
, Photographer's Gallery, London, England, 1981
Photographic Disclosures,
Squibb Gallery, Squibb World Headquarters, Princeton, NJ, 1982
13th Anniversary Exhibition,
Witkin Gallery, NY, 1982
A Collector's Choice
, Princeton Gallery of Fine Art, NJ, 1982
Three Women Photographers
, Woodman Gallery, Morristown, NJ, 1982
Repeated Exposure
, Nelson Gallery of Art, Atkins Museum of Fine Arts, Kansas City, MO, 1982
5 Years at the Creative Photography Gallery,
Silent Auction, Creative Photography Laboratory, M.I.T., Cambridge, MA, 1982
Acquisitions' 82,
Silent Auction, Friends of the NJ State Museum, Trenton, NJ, 1982
Contemporary Photography as Phantasy
, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, CA, 1982
The Alternative Image
, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI, 1982
, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX, 1982
An Art Exhibit
, Full House, Kingston, NJ, 1982
20th Century Photographs from the Museum of Modern Art
, University of Hawaii Art Gallery, Honolulu, HI, 1983
Elements of Abstraction
, Princeton Gallery of Fine Art, Princeton, NJ, 1983
Tennis in Art XII,
Provident National Bank, Philadelphia, PA, 1983
Contemporary Photographs from the Collection of the Art Museum
, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 1983
Naomi Savage: Photographs
, Noyes Museum, Oceanville, NJ, 1983
Structures: 13 New Jersey Artists
, Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ, 1984
The One and Only
, Laurence Miller Gallery of Fine Art, Princeton, NJ, 1984
Faces, Figures, Forks, and the Future
, Princeton Gallery of Fine Art, Princeton, NJ, 1984
Viewpoint: The Artist as Photographer
, Summit Art Center, Summit, NJ, 1984
Second Woodmere Triannual of Contemporary Photography, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadephia, PA, 2006
From Gerswin to Gillespie: Portraits in American Music
, Michener Art Museum, New Hope, PA, 2006

Awards & Appointments

The Cassandra Foundation, 1970
National Endowment for the Arts, Photography Fellowship, 1971
ONE SHOW, Silver Award, Art Directors Club, NY, 1976
New Jersey State Council for the Arts, 1974
New Jersey State Council for the Arts, 1976
Creative Arts Public Service Program, NY, 1976
Mujer, Institute of Contemporary Hispanic Art, NY, 1976
Princeton Art Association, NJ, 1976

Education & Community

New School for Social Research, 1943
B.A., Bennington College, Bennington, Vermont, 1944-1947

Teachers and Influences
Bernice Abbott, assistant of Man Ray, New School for Social Research, 1943
Apprentice to Man Ray, 1947-1948

Connection to Bucks County
In the early 1950s, Naomi Savage lived in Lambertville, New Jersey. She and her husband, David Savage, briefly resided in the town for three to four years before moving to Princeton, New Jersey.

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