Considered as one of America’s finest self-taught painters, John “Jack” Savitsky was born in 1910 and a native northeastern Pennsylvania. Upon completion of the sixth grade, Savitsky went to work in the mines. Thirty-five years in the mines and suffering black lung disease, he retired in 1960 and began to draw and paint in earnest.
Primarily, Savitsky’s pictures depict the life and times of the coal miners, their families and life in the rural villages. His works present views of his surroundings and people he knew best. With charm and humor, he portrayed what was close to his heart and soul.
“Coal Miner Jack” died in 1991. Today his works are displayed in many well-known collections and museums. These include the Smithsonian, the Museum of American Folk Art in New York, the Abby Aldridge Rockefeller Collection, Williamsburg, the Milwaukee Museum, and the National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC.