26th Annual Lecture Series: 2020-2021 Presenters

“More than America’s Treasure House:
Henry Francis du Pont’s Winterthur Museum”
Director of External Affairs, Winterthur Museum

Tom Savage is Director of External Affairs for The Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library, the former Delaware home of Henry Francis du Pont (1880-1969), the avid antiques collector and horticulturist. From November 1998 until August 2005, Mr. Savage 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.  He was also responsible for public programming, lecture series and study travel programs for Sotheby’s.

Born in 1956 on 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).  While a student at St. Andrew’s School, he served as a guide at the Odessa, Delaware properties of the Winterthur Museum and while a student at William and Mary, as an interpreter in the exhibition buildings of Colonial Williamsburg.

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).  He has traveled in Russia, southern Germany, and Sweden with the Furniture History Society and in eastern Germany with Dr. Marilyn Mason’s “In the Steps of Bach” study tour.

Mr. Savage served on the Board of Directors of the American Friends of the Attingham Summer School from 1991 to 1993 and as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Attingham Study Week.  From 1995 until 2011, he served on the Board of Directors of the Royal Oak Foundation, the American Alliance with the National Trust of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  He 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 Directors of The Gibbes Museum of Art, the American Committee for Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, England and the Advisory Committee for The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

In 1981, Mr. Savage was the recipient of a National Museum Act Internship to serve as Acting Curator of Historic Charleston Foundation and was subsequently appointed (September 1981) as that institution’s first full-time curator.  Promoted to the position of Curator and Director of Museums for Historic Charleston, in this capacity he directed 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).

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, and Sotheby’s Art at Auction. He contributed the essay on the Carolina Low Country to Colonial Williamsburg’s award-wining 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.

Mr. Savage has lectured frequently in this country and in England on Charleston architecture, interiors, and British and southern decorative arts.  In 1998, he gave the keynote lecture for the fiftieth anniversary Williamsburg Antiques Forum that focused on The Arts of the South.  He has also lectured for, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, The Baltimore Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Bayou Bend and numerous antiques shows and symposia.  He currently serves as Master of Ceremonies for The Charleston Art and Antiques Forum and The New Orleans Antiques Forum. For Cunard, Mr. Savage has been a featured speaker on both the QEII and Royal Viking Sun.  An expert on the British country house, he has coordinated and led specialized itineraries in England, Ireland and Scotland for Historic Charleston Foundation, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, The President’s Circle of the College of William and Mary, The Institute of Classical Architecture, and the Trustees of the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library.