Sunday, 15 March 2015

#617 Reference for the horse artist . . . Sam Savitt

When I left art school in Kansas City in the early 1960s, I entered the realm of commercial art and animation.
My heroes then remain my heroes now . . . one of them was the outstanding illustrator of horses:  Sam Savitt.
 Born in 1917, he passed away in the year 2000.  He illustrated for outdoor magazines but horse stories
was always his specialty . . . be it racing, polo, western, rodeo, dressage, or fox hunting and I remember him
as a youngster when my Father would give me his magazines to tear the pictures for my scrapbooks.

He authored numerous books, illustrated over 150 books, and among many other publications,  illustrated a line of comics for Gene Autry's horse, Champion for Dell Comics in 1951 which I eagerly collected. . . and wish I had saved. 
 Not only was he a great illustrator, he was a horseman with a great knowledge of horses.  

Below, is the cover of one of his best know books, "Draw Horses With Sam Savitt", originally published in 1981
by Half Halt Press, Middletown, Maryland.  Also shown are images of pages from the book.
This is a very informative book and he shows you how to draw and understand the horse in motion, 
conformation and markings, anatomy, and breeds of horses, and much more.

In 1995, while teaching a bird sculpture workshop at Scottsdale Artists' School,  Mr. Savitt was also an instructor there. 
 I had the great pleasure of meeting him and was truly star-struck!  Trish and I had just picked up our new West Highland Terrier puppy and he was totally charmed by the little dog and would play with it every day when we took our breaks. 

 A few years later, after he had died I found the book, published 1969, shown below in a flea market and rescued it.  
To my delight, when I opened the book, it had been signed to someone and had a sketch of a horse 
which is also shown below.  His elegant style and presentation of the horse is my ideal.



Go to the BLOG INDEX and Reference Page for more information.  See posts # 616 and 655

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish


  1. Years ago I took a workshop with Sam and another really good equestrian painter, Jean Bowman. As we were taking a break and were telling stories of experiences with our horses Sam drew an image of me trying to catch my clever Thoroughbred and gave it to me. I was thrilled, of course. After the workshop I wrote a letter to him and he answered with a letter that had drawings in it much like Charlie Russell used to do. I still love them as much today as 25 years ago.

  2. Yvonne, He was a great man . . . I continue to be inspired by his work and his elegant presentation of the horse. Thank you for your comment!