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Jack Savitsky Portrait

Jack Savitsky

Also Known as: John Savitsky, Coal Miner Jack

Silver Creek, Pennsylvania 1910

Coaldale, Pennsylvania 1991

Active in:

  • Lansford, Pennsylvania

Photo Caption:
Copyright unknown

Luce Artist Quote

“I like people to laugh at my paintings.” Jack Savitsky, quoted in Jeff Cox, “1st ‘pop’ primitive found,” The Pocono Record, The Stroudsburgs, Penn., August 27, 1965


Born in Pennsylvania. Well known for his bright and colorful depictions of life in and around the hard-coal regions of Lansford, Pennsylvania. He drew with a variety of materials and painted in oils on all kinds of surfaces.

Nora Panzer, ed. Celebrate America in Poetry and Art (New York and Washington, D.C.: Hyperion Paperbacks for Children in association with the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1994)

Additional Biographies

Luce Artist Biography

Jack Savitsky worked in the coal mines of Lansford, Pennsylvania, for more than forty years. He enjoyed painting as a child and remembered that “instead of doing ABCs,” he would draw pictures of cats and dogs. During his off hours, he painted signs on windows and trucks and created murals for local speakeasies. By the time he was in his fifties, he suffered from “black lung” and was unable to find work and so devoted all of his time to painting. (Jack Savitsky, Oral History, 1990, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution)