Friday, December 4, 2015

Steele Savage (1898-1970)




Harry Steele Savage was born on December 21, 1898, in Central Lake, Michigan. According to his biography in The Rainbow Book of Bible Stories (The World Publishing Company, 1956, shown above), he studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Slade School in London, and in Vienna and Paris. He designed the sets and costumes for Caviar, a musical comedy than ran for twenty performances at the Forrest Theatre in New York in 1934. Savage was also a designer of furniture, and he created at least one poster design during World War II.

Steele Savage is most well known as an illustrator of books, especially on mythology, history, and the Bible. He also created the covers for many science fiction novels of the 1960s and '70s. The illustrations above, from The Rainbow Book of Bible Stories by J. Harold Gwynne (1956), show Savage's style, which can be described as a kind of magical realism. Savage's other credits include:
  • The Decameron of Boccaccio (Blue Ribbon Books, 1931)
  • The Arabian Nights edited by Bennett Cerf (Triangle Books, 1932)
  • The Droll Stories of HonorĂ© de Balzac (1932)
  • No Other Man by Alfred Noyes (1940)
  • Stories of the Gods and Heroes by Sally Benson (1940)
  • Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes by Edith Hamilton (1942)
  • Throne of the World by Louis de Wohl (1949)
  • The Wild Party by Joseph Moncure March (1949)
  • Adventures with the Giants by Catherine F. Sellew (1950)
  • Adventures with the Heroes by Catherine F. Sellew (1954)
  • The Life of Christ by the AbbĂ© Constant Fouard (1954)
  • The Token by Samuel Shellabarger (1955)
  • The Golden Library Book of Bible Stories by Jonathan Braddock (1956)
  • Martin Luther by Henry Emerson Fosdick (1956)
  • The Adventures of Ulysses by Gerald Gottlieb (1959)
  • Little Golden Book of Airplanes by Ruth Mabee Lachman (1959) 
  • Life in the Ancient World by Bart Winer (1961)
  • The Virginian by Owen Wister (Scholastic, 1964)
  • Golden Blood by Jack Williamson (1967)
  • The Well of the Unicorn by Fletcher Pratt (1967)
  • Breakthrough by Richard Cowper (1969)
  • Between Planets by Robert A. Heinlein (1970)
  • Have Spacesuit, Will Travel by Robert A. Heinlein (1970)
  • Rocket Ship Galileo by Robert A. Heinlein (1970)
  • The Long Result by John Brunner (1970)
  • The Rolling Stones by Robert A. Heinlein  (1970)
  • The Sorcerer's Skull by David Mason (1970)
  • The Squares of the City by John Brunner (1970)
  • The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein (1970)
  • Time for the Stars by Robert A. Heinlein (1970)
  • Starbreed by Martha deMey Clow (1970)
  • The Whole Man by John Brunner (1970)
  • Anti-Man by Dean R. Koontz (1970)
  • The Citadel of Fear by Francis Stevens (1970)
  • Black in Time by John Jakes (1970)
  • Report on Probability A by Brian W. Aldiss (1970)
  • Tunnel in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein (1970)
  • Barrier World by Louis Charbonneau (1970)
  • World's Bible Story Library by J. Harold Gwynne (a multi-volume reissue of The Rainbow Book of Bible Stories, 1970)
  • Red Planet by Robert A. Heinlein (1971)
  • Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner (1972)
  • Hurlbut's Story of the Bible (revised edition) by Jesse Lyman Hurlburt (1974)

This list is not necessarily complete.

Steele Savage lived in New York for much of his career. He died on December 5, 1970, at age seventy-one. You can read a little more about him on my blog, Tellers of Weird Tales, here. Part of the book list above is from the Internet Speculative Fiction Database.

Original text copyright 2015 Terence E. Hanley

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