Updated: Jan 18
Jack Savit also known as John Savitsky.
Jack and Mary Savit bought the property in 1986 – it was then a run-down derelict and it was unsure if a developer would make more homes of it or it would become part of the Wawa Gas / Convenience chain.
It needed serious renovation after its years of neglect and vandalism. Mary was an Art Teacher and Jack was a self-taught American Folk Artist who has become increasingly renowned, with examples of his work in collections and museums around the nation. Jack was born and bred in the Pennsylvania Coal Fields of Coaldale and after years of service and contracting black lung, he pursued his love or art – albeit with alternative media as fumes from oil paints would aggravate his condition. He seemed to draw or pastel a scene daily – with everyday sights as the subject in a style of his own. He would take anything and sketch and color and scene onto it – cracker containers, bits of old corrugated card, and infamously: steel pub trays. By the time the house was finished its renovation, it was soon full of art and became “Camelot the Jack Savit Gallery”. It was almost entirely painted white inside – except for the varnished wooden floors, this was to better display the art. The door to the dining room had a sign over the top indicating is was the entrance to the “gallery” it seems all the downstairs rooms were part of the display of art and furniture at least two rooms upstairs were also. On the electrical panel there are circuits marked “print room” and “art room” as they both still produced work and studied with the time they still had (Jack 1910 to 1991).
I returned a Jack Savit sketch back to the house in Jan 2022 - found in a local antique store - the subject is "Thanksgiving"
I bought the house from his step daughter in 2015 after Mary Lou's passing, I've been patching the house and property history together ever since.
The local historical society provided this photo of a framed photo dating from around 1905 - I tried to retake the same image (as close as I could get) in 2016.
The colorized photo indicates green shutters and window trim - this was born out by scraping for re-painting. Note the two feed towers by the front right corner of the barn - now long gone.