Five Women Artists – Victoria Savage

Victoria Savage painting in the gallery

During the month of March, we are highlighting five women artists. The project is inspired by the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ “Can you name #5WomenArtists?” campaign. First up is painter Victoria Savage.

About Victoria Savage

Victoria Savage made significant contributions to a Northwest regionalist style of painting in the early- to mid-20th century.

Born and raised in Spokane, Savage graduated from Washington State University with a degree in fine arts. In the late 1950s, Savage moved to Seattle, embedding herself in the arts community.

According to information from the Frye Museum in Seattle, Victoria Savage started painting in 1956 with the idea of illustrating a children’s book.

“When one of her works was accepted in a juried show at the Frye, she was encouraged to pursue her painting career,” writes former Frye curator Kimsey Sorensen in 1999.

Sorensen writes that Savage went on to receive training with painter Sergei Bongart, as well as with Danny Pierce, George Post, and Rex Brandt.

Savage was a longtime member of the Northwest Watercolor Society and an active member of the Women Painters of Washington. Her first major solo exhibition that brought her regional attention was at the Frye Art Museum in 1964. She actively exhibited until her death on March 20, 1977, at age 69.

Some of her exhibitions include: Freemasons Gallery, 1967; Edmonds Art Gallery, 1968; Frye Museum, 1974; and the Northwest Watercolor Society, 1976.

Weyerhaeuser Mill at Everett, Washington

Painting of a mill

Victoria Savage; Weyerhaeuser Mill at Everett, Washington, no date; Gouache and mixed media; Gift of Charles and Nancy Bagley

The Whatcom Museum holds Weyerhaeuser Mill at Everett, Washington by Victoria Savage in our collection. The undated piece is gouache and mixed media. It entered the collection through a gift of Charles and Nancy Bagley.

This painting gives a glimpse of mid-century industry in the region, depicting one of the active Weyerhaeuser mills in Everett. Savage incorporates aspects of cubism in her interpretation of the buildings, water towers, and smokestacks. Lyrical, dynamic brush strokes infuse the structures with the energy reflective of the activity of production.

Want to see this work for yourself? The painting is on view in the exhibition Anatomy of a Collection: Recent Acquisitions and Promised Gifts through March 21. The exhibition celebrates the works of art welcomed into the permanent collection since the Lightcatcher building opened 10 years ago.

You can learn more about a selection of works from the exhibition on the Museum blog.

Sources: Frye Museum, newspaper clippings, exhibition materials

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