About the Collection
C.R. (Charles Roscoe) Savage, 1832-1909
C.R. Savage, born 16 August 1832 in England, became one of the foremost 19 th century landscape photographers of the western United States, as well as a renowned studio portrait photographer, with his studio in Salt Lake City, Utah. The idea to emigrate from England to Utah undoubtedly began shortly after his 1848 baptism and membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).
Savage’s immigration in 1856 to New York marked the beginning of his known interest in establishing a photography business. On assignment from the LDS Church he traveled to Florence, Nebraska. His family subsequently joined him in 1860 and Savage established a primitive studio in Council Bluffs, Nebraska. Finally the family made their way across the country arriving in Salt Lake City on 29 August 1860. The next day he made business arrangements with Marsena Cannon, a daguerreotype photographer, and owner of a studio on East Temple. In 1862, with Cannon’s departure to St. George, Utah, Savage formed a partnership with George Martin Ottinger. Savage & Ottinger legally dissolved their firm in 1870, and that same year Savage formed the Pioneer Art Gallery, and in 1875, needing more space, he replaced it with the Art Bazaar.
On 26 June 1883, his Art Bazaar burned to the ground, with all of his negatives. After his death on 3 February 1909, another fire, in 1911, destroyed all of the negatives from the last 25 years of his career. Although his sons continued to operate the business, the Art Bazaar closed its doors permanently on 31 December 1926.
About the Collection (Ca. 1866-1906)
Because of the fires which destroyed Savage’s negatives, this collection contains original prints, covering all periods of his career. It includes stereographs, carte-de-visite, cabinet, and boudoir prints, with the medium predominately albumen, and a number of collodian and gelatin prints, all of varying quality.
Perhaps the most well-known of Savage’s photographs is that of the joining of the transcontinental railroad at Promontory, Utah, 10 May 1869. He joined two other famous photographers, Andrew J. Russell and Alfred A. Hart, in documenting this historic event. In addition this collection includes hundreds of images of Salt Lake City and the west, with Utah and California predominating. Savage was also a prolific portrait photographer, and his numerous portraits of Brigham Young and other LDS church leaders are well represented.
The Brigham Young University Collection
There are 662 digital images representing about 79% of the total of 839 images in the C.R. Savage Photograph Collection (MSS P 24). See the finding aid for a complete description of the entire collection. The digital collection contains mostly Savage photographs, but there is an Alfred A. Hart, two photographs by Edw. A. Muybridge, and a possible Carleton E. Watkins photograph. The Stuart and Carita Kadison collection of approximately 100 Savage prints was recently acquired by the L. Tom Perry Special Collections and in the future many of these prints will be scanned and made available on this “Historical Photographs” web site
The LDS Church History Collection
The digital images from the LDS Church Archives are from their PH 500 collection. In time all of this collection, plus images from many more collections will be scanned and added to this web site. The images include views of Salt Lake City: including the Salt Lake Temple and Tabernacle, 1897 Pioneer Day parade, Great Salt Lake, and Fort Douglas; Utah cities of St. George, Manti, Logan, Park City, Ogden, and Provo; and mining operations, canyons, natural landmarks, and railroads in Utah. Views of Oregon, Idaho, Yellowstone National Park, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, and Wyoming and portraits of Native Americans, including chiefs Kanosh and Washakie will also be included as well as portraits from various LDS Church Archives collections.