My Dungeon Shook

Hubbard Savage’s work is an homage to James Arthur Baldwin (1924-1987), an American novelist, playwright, poet and a voice of the Civil Rights Movement.  The artist writes, “the reason I painted a James Baldwin portrait is simple — he was a great thinker and a brilliant writer.”

Unfortunately, Baldwin’s essays about the problems of racism in 1960’s America are still poignant today.  The artist selected this quote “because a perspective shift is what solves racism.  Empathy.  Reading is not the only avenue for this kind of racism-defeating empathy, but it is a good one.  I didn’t know how to understand racism (much less have the courage to talk about it with my friends) until I read Claudia Rankine’s ‘Citizen’, saw the blue eyes-brown eyes experiment on PBS, and read some essays by James Baldwin. His quote is perfect. Reading is the practice of shifting perspective.”


KC Streetcar Library Southbound Stop, Ninth Street and Main Street


Hubbard Savage is a figurative artist who lives and works in Kansas City. His subjects are often other artists: musicians, poets, writers. His work has been collected across the United States and internationally.

Hubbard is a board member of Amplified City, a non-profit organization that holds free writing and arts classes for qualifying students of all ages, in conjunction with Wise Blood Booksellers at 300 Westport Road. Inquire about participation or student sponsorship at