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Naomi Savage miscellaneous acquisitions collection

Identifier: AG 282

Scope and Contents

Materials in this collection are related to an ongoing St. Valentine’s Day correspondence between Naomi Savage and Jerry Uelsmann. Each year, from 1970 to 1994, the two photographers would exchange letters comprised of greetings written on the front and/or reverse of prints. Most of the notes are hand written, and there is often ephemera enclosed as well. There are three copies of a typewritten letter as well as one handwritten note sent from Savage to Uelsmann. The rest of the collection is comprised of material sent from Uelsmann to Savage. Savage’s photographic work is not represented. The photos vary in composition from family photos to landscapes to abstractions. Some are housed in frames or matted. Box 1 contains seven folders, six from Series 1 and one from Series 2.

FOLDER 1 contains all correspondence for each year between 1970 and 1979. This correspondence is comprised of hand written notes on photographs used as cards. In addition to the photographic correspondence there are ephemera, including a lapel button. The original envelopes and packing materials are housed behind each item with interleaving between them.

FOLDER 2 contains all correspondence from each year between 1980 and 1986. 1982 and 1984 are housed in Box 2. In addition to the photographic correspondence there are three copies of a typewritten note from Savage asking Uelsmann if he would consent to publishing their Valentine’s correspondence as a book. There is also a hand written note from Savage recognizing Uelsmann’s declination of the offer. The original envelopes and packing materials are housed behind each item with interleaving between them.

FOLDER 3 contains correspondence from 1987 and 1989. 1988 is housed in Box 2. In addition to the photographic correspondence the original envelopes and packing materials are housed behind each item with interleaving between them.

FOLDER 4 contains correspondence from 1990-1994, with 1992 housed in Box Two. In addition to the photographic correspondence the original packing and envelopes are housed behind each item with interleaving between them.

FOLDER 5 contains two photos which were not able to be dated. There is also one envelope in the folder with the postmark date obscured. Interleaving between each item

FOLDER 6 contains and accordion style folder which houses two sets of photocopies of all of the materials and images exchanged in the Valentine’s correspondence between Savage and Uelsmann and represented in this collection. In addition to the two sets of paper clipped photocopies are several dozen other photocopies of items and photographs which are not represented in this collection.

FOLDER 7 is the first and only folder of SERIES 2. It contains a copy of Photometro newsprint magazine featuring Uelsmann on the cover and an interview with Uelsmann inside.

BOX 2 contains oversized items sent in correspondence, including four large photographic prints and one sliding photo frame housing a photographic print. The original packing material is stored toward the bottom of the box with interleaving between each photographic item. The print from 1984 has a handwritten note from Uelsmann on the back declining Savage’s offer to create a book from their correspondence.


  • 1970-1994


Language of Materials

Material in English

Conditions Governing Access

To access materials from this collection, please contact

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission from the copyright owner (which could be the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates or literary executors) prior to any copyright-protected uses of the collection.

The user agrees to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Arizona Board of Regents, the University of Arizona, Center of Creative Photography, including its officers, employees, and agents, from and against all claims made relating to copyright or other intellectual property infringement

Biographical Note

Naomi Savage was born on June 25th, 1927 in Princeton, NJ. The niece of photographer Man Ray, Savage studied photography at the New School for Social Research in 1943, and went on to study art at Bennington College from 1944-1947. Before graduation, she left to pursue an apprenticeship with her uncle in Hollywood. She began her career in 1948 by taking portraits of well-known composers, including Aaron Copeland and Virgil Thompson.

Savage enjoyed using various processing techniques, experimenting with photogravure and photoengraving. She would continue to experiment on original printings for years—sometimes decades—in order to explore techniques. Her most famous work is a photoengraving mural created for the Lyndon B. Johnson Library in Austin, TX. Standing nearly seven feet high and 50 feet long and made in magnesium, the mural depicts the presidential era of Lyndon Johnson from 1963-1969.

Later in life Savage returned to Princeton, where she died on November 22nd, 2005.

Jerry Uelsmann is an American photographer born in Detroit, MI, on June 11th, 1934. Uelsmann became interested in photography as a teenager, eventually earning a B.A. degree from Rochester Institute of Technology and M.S. and M.F.A degrees from Indiana University. Known for his composite photographs using multiple negatives, Uelsmann uses up to a dozen enlargers at a time. He continues to use traditional photography equipment today.

Uelsmann’s work has been featured on television, in literature, and as album covers for the likes of Bon Jovi and Dream Theater. He taught photography at the University of Florida from 1960 to 1998, when he retired. Uelsmann is credited with helping to establish the creative photography program at UF, one of the first of its kind.

Uelsmann still lives in Gainesville, FL, and continues to create photographic works.


2 Boxes (1 Linear foot)

Metadata Rights Declarations

  • License: This record is made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Creative Commons license.


Materials in this collection relate to correspondence between photographers Naomi Savage and Jerry Uelsmann. They include photographs, ephemera, publications, and letters.


The Collection is arranged into the following series:

  1. Series 1: Correspondence
  2. Series 2: Publications

Custodial History

Donation of Mr. Francis Naumann

Related Materials

AG 35, Jerry Uelsmann Archive at the Center for Creative Photography

Processing Information

Collection processed and finding aid created by Elise Gregory in January, 2020.

Naomi Savage Miscellaneous Acquisitions, 1970-1994
Finding aid created by Elise Gregory
© 2020
Description rules
Finding Aid Based On Dacs (Describing Archives: A Content Standard)
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Center for Creative Photography Archives Repository

1030 N. Olive RD
Tucson Arizona 85721 United States