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Tom Savage


Tom Savage is the Director of External Affairs for Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library. From November 1998 until August 2005, he was Senior Vice President and Director of Sotheby’s Institute of Art for North and South America where he directed The Sotheby’s American Arts Course, an intensive nine-month professional training program in American fine and decorative arts of the seventeenth century to the present. From 1981 until 1998, he was Curator and Director of Museums for Historic Charleston Foundation directing the foundation’s collections and historic properties including the nationally important Nathaniel Russell House (1808), the Aiken-Rhett House (1818-1858), and Charleston’s oldest public building, The Powder Magazine (1712). A native of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, Mr. Savage attended St. Andrew’s School, Middletown, Delaware (1971-1975) and received a BA degree in Art History from The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia (1979). He holds an MA Degree in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program of the State University of New York (1979-1981).

Mr. Savage attended The Graduate Summer Institute at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts; Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 1978 and in 1979 was awarded The Marcia Wadhams Carleton Internship at the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum in Wethersfield, Connecticut, properties of The National Society of the Colonial Dames in the State of Connecticut. In addition to internships in this country, he has studied in England at The Attingham Summer School on the British Country House (1980), The Attingham Study Week (1987-1994), The Victorian Society Summer School in London (1984), and The Cambridge Choral Studies Seminar, Cambridge, England (1985).

From 1995 to 2012, Mr. Savage was a member of the Board of Directors of the Royal Oak Foundation, the American Alliance with the National Trust of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. He currently serves on the Board of Governors of the Decorative Arts Trust and is a member of the Furniture History Society having, in 1990, presented the society’s annual lecture at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Mr. Savage served as a presidential appointee to the Committee for the Preservation of the White House from 1993 to 2002. He is a former member of the board of the Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston and the American Committee for Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill.

He is the author The Charleston Interior, published by Legacy Publications, Greensboro, North Carolina (1995) and articles in the Magazine Antiques, the Chipstone Foundation’s American Furniture, Sotheby’s Art at Auction, and Southern Accents. He contributed the essay on the Carolina Low Country to Colonial Williamsburg’s recent volume Southern Furniture 1680-1830: The Colonial Williamsburg Collection published by Abrams (1997). Mr. Savage was co-curator for the landmark exhibition “In Pursuit of Refinement: Charlestonians Abroad 1740-1860” held at The Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, in 1999. For the exhibition catalog published by The University of South Carolina Press, he catalogued the furniture and silver and co-authored two essays.