Finding aid created by: KM
|21 Aug 2007||converted to EAD (JPK)|
|16 Jul 2012||LCNAF updates (MRC)|
|12 Sep 2016||updates/corrections (MS)|
Overview of the Collection
|Creator:||Putnam, Brenda, 1890-1975.|
|Title:||Brenda Putnam Papers|
|Quantity:||2 linear ft.|
|Abstract:||Papers of the American sculptor and medalist. Died 1975.|
|Abstract:||The Brenda Putnam Papers consists of correspondence (1930-1959); drawings; photographs of Brenda Putnam and her work; printed material, including articles, clippings, exhibition catalogs, and reviews; reminiscences, and a sketchbook. Correspondence, predominantly incoming, includes that of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Robert A. Baillie, Paul Philippe Cret, William Adams Delano, Eli Lilly and Company, John Flanagan, the Folger Shakespeare Library, Ossip Gabrilowitsch, Lawrence Gilman, Grand Central Art Galleries, Walker Hancock, Anna Hyatt Huntington, Archer Milton Huntington, Gertrude K. Lathrop, the Library of Congress, the Liturgical Arts Society, Edward McCartan, Harold McCracken, the Medallic Art Company, the National Academy of Design, the National Sculpture Society, Ruth Nickerson, R.H. Norton, Joan Smit, Alexander B. Trowbridge, the U.S. Mint, the Work Projects Administration, Sidney Waugh, and Louis B. Wright.|
|Repository:||Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
Brenda Putnam was an American sculptor and author (1890-1975). The daughter of Herbert Putnam, a former Librarian of Congress, Brenda Putnam underscored the significance of her collection by providing not only brief annotations for various items, but often detailed reminiscences of her personal and professional life, thus establishing a context in which to view both her Papers as well as her artistic career.
Arranged chronologically from 1930 through 1959, the Correspondence includes incoming letters with holograph and typescript carbon copies of some of Brenda Putnam's outgoing responses. While illuminating her relationships with fellow artists (Robert A. Baillie, John Flanagan, James Earle Fraser, Gaetano Cecere, Walker Hancock, Anna Hyatt Huntington, Gertrude K. Lathrop, Lee Lawrie, Carl Miles, Ruth Nickerson, Henry J. Peck, Marion Sanford, Joan Smit, Carl Walters, Sidney Waugh), the Correspondence also reveals Brenda Putnam's associations with galleries and museums (Birmingham Museum of Art, Grand Central Art Galleries, New York University's Hall of Fame, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts); patrons and sponsors of sculpture competitions (the Architect of the Capitol, the Folger Shakespeare Library, Archer M. Huntington, Eli Lilly and Company, the Liturgical Arts Society, Inc., the Medallic Art Company, R. H. Norton, the United States Director of the Mint); and professional organizations (American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Academy of Design, the National Sculpture Society); as well as some of the subjects of her work (Harold Bauer, William Adams Delano, Ossip Gabrilowitsch). A selected index to the Correspondence follows the box list.
Artwork encompasses original drawings, reproductions of Brenda Putnam's sculpture, and sketches. In designating her work, the terminology provided by the artist has been used in the arrangement of the collection. Drawings (1918-1950) include a series of mechanical draughting exercises for a class Putnam attended prior to a taking a job with Sperry Gyroscope Company, as well as four bone-shadow drawings executed from 1947 to 1948. Arranged by title, Sculpture includes photographs and printed reproductions of Brenda Putnam's two-and three-dimensional work. Putnam's subjects range from musicians (Harold Bauer, Pablo Casals, Wanda Landowska) to law-givers (Solon, Maimonides), admirals (Ernest J. King) to feminists (Susan B. Anthony, Amelia Earhart). Much of this material is also accompanied by letters, printed material, and/or Brenda Putnam's reminiscences concerning the circumstances surrounding the execution of a particular work. Architectural pencil Sketches document Putnam's sojourn in Europe during the 1920s.
Writings include reminiscences, speeches, and miscellaneous articles, reviews, and the text for a Samuel F. B. Morse exhibition catalog. Written in 1964 and 1965, Putnam's reminiscences provide insight into her early fascination with music and musicians ("TheBeethoven Association," "A Portrait Bust of Ossip Gabrilowitsch," "Sculptor at the Piano"), while highlighting her opinions concerning her work ("Bone Shadow Drawings," "A Competition," "The Lighting of Sculpture"), often with a touch of self-deprecating humor ("The Gorilla," "Dayton, Ohio").
Memorabilia features artwork by Edgar Davies, Paul Manship, and Wheeler Williams, awards, personal photographs, printed material, and the transcript of a 1932 radio broadcast delivered shortly after the installation of Brenda Putnam's "Puck" at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Printed material includes articles and newspaper clippings (1919-1957) about Brenda Putnam, an assortment of her exhibition catalogs and invitations (1931-1947), and publicity for and reviews of her books, A Sculptor's Way and Animal X-Rays.
The Brenda Putnam Papers begins with Correspondence (box 1) and is ordered by date. Artwork (boxes 1-2) follows and is grouped into the categories of drawings, sculpture and sketches. Writings (box 2) consists of reminiscences, speeches, and miscellaneous articles and reviews, all organized by date. Memorabilia starts in box 3 and is arranged alphabetically by category. A final oversized package contains some additional artwork and memorabilia (a scrapbook).
The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.
Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.
Baillie, Robert A. (Robert Alexander), 1880-1961.
Cret, Paul Philippe, 1876-1945.
Delano, William Adams, 1874-1960.
Flanagan, John F., 1865-1952.
Gabrilowitsch, Ossip, 1878-1936.
Gilman, Lawrence, 1878-1939.
Hancock, Walker Kirtland, 1901-1998.
Huntington, Anna Hyatt, 1876-1973.
Huntington, Archer M. (Archer Milton), 1870-1955.
Lathrop, Gertrude Katherine, 1896-
McCartan, Edward, 1878-1947.
McCracken, Harold, 1894-1983.
Norton, R. H.
Putnam, Brenda, 1890-1975.
Trowbridge, Alexander Buell, 1868-1950.
Waugh, Sidney, 1904-1963.
Wright, Louis B. (Louis Booker), 1899-1984.
American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Eli Lilly and Company.
Folger Shakespeare Library.
Grand Central Art Galleries.
Liturgical Arts Society.
Medallic Art Company.
National Academy of Design (U.S.)
National Sculpture Society (U.S.)
New York University. -- Hall of Fame.
United States Mint.
United States. -- Work Projects Administration.
Art, American -- 20th century.
Medalists -- United States.
Sculptors -- United States.
Sculpture, American -- 20th century.
Women artists -- United States.
Women sculptors -- United States.
Genres and Forms
Clippings (information artifacts)
Drawings (visual works)
Preferred citation for this material is as follows:
Brenda Putnam Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
Gift of Brenda Putnam, 1964, 1968.
Selected index to correspondence
|Box 1||General 1930-1959, undated (12 folders)|
|Box 1||General 1918, 1920 (2 items)|
|Oversize 1||Mechanical drawing exercises 1942 - preparation for job at Sperry Gyroscope|
|Box 1||"Bone-shadow drawings" 1947-1948 (4 items)|
|Box 1||General 1951 (1 item)|
|"The Man from Skid Row" 1920 (1 item)|
|Box 1||"Anatomical Figure for Students" 1937|
|Box 1||Anthony, Susan B. (New York University Hall of Fame)|
|Box 1||Bauer, Harold 1949|
|Box 1||"Blind Beggar of Florence"|
|Box 1||Bowker, Richard R.|
|Box 1||Brookgreen Gardens: Sculpture by Brenda Putnam 1937|
|Box 1||Casals, Pablo 1925|
|Box 1||"Charmides" 1917|
|Box 1||"The Child in the Vineyard" 1928|
|Box 1||"Christ, the Light of the World" 1942|
|Box 1||Cleveland Centennial Great Lakes Exposition Commemorative Half-Dollar 1936|
|Box 1||"Communion" - mother of Robert A. Baillie|
|Box 1||Delano, William Adams 1950|
|Box 1||Head (Syracuse University) 1933|
|Box 1||Medal 1941|
|Box 1||Gabrilowitsch, Ossip (Detroit Institute of Arts) 1933|
|Box 1||Genthe, Arnold 1933|
|Box 2||Gorilla 1944-1945|
|Box 2||Great Law-Givers 1949-1950 - U.S. House of Representatives plaques|
|Box 2||Italian boy 1927-1928 - mask|
|Box 2||"Joseph and Mary at Bethlehem" 1929|
|Box 2||King, Ernest Joseph 1945-1946 - medal|
|Box 2||Kirke-Porter (Henry) memorial 1931-1932|
|Box 2||Landowska, Wanda 1928|
|Box 2||Lilly, Eli 1948|
|Box 2||Manda (W. Albert) memorial (South Orange, NJ) 1935|
|Box 2||Mapother, John Rubel|
|Box 2||"Memorial to Anne Simon" (Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, DC) 1915|
|Box 2||"Memorial to the Women of Virginia (Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, DC) 1942|
|Box 2||"Midsummer" 1930|
|Box 2||"Nature Study in Bronze" 1929|
|Box 2||Noble, M. C. S. 1935|
|Box 2||O'Hara, Desmond 1925 - nephew of Brenda Putnam|
|Box 2||O'Hara, Jane - niece of Brenda Putnam|
|Box 2||Post office lunette (Caldwell, NJ) 1936|
|Box 2||Post office mural (St. Cloud, MN) 1936|
|Box 2||"Puck" (Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC) 1931|
|Box 2||Putnam, Herbert (Library of Congress, Washington, DC) 1922 - Father of Brenda Putnam|
|Box 2||Sea-horse sundial 1925|
|Box 2||"The Spear Dance" 1926|
|Box 2||"Two Kids" sundial (Brookgreen Gardens, SC) 1926|
|Box 2||"White Mouse with a Flea"|
|Box 2||Woolsey, Dwight Theodore 1931|
|Box 2||England, F rance 1922 (17 items)|
|Box 2||Florence, Italy 1927 (14 items)|
|Oversize 1||France, Italy 1927 (2 items)|
|Box 2||Sketchbook I 1927-1929|
|Box 2||Sketchbook II 1927-1929|
|Box 2||Reminiscences 1923-1926, undated|
|Box 2||Speeches 1964-1965, undated|
|Box 2||Miscellaneous articles, reviews, etc 1928-1951 (2 folders)|
|Artwork by others|
|Box 3||Davies, Edgar (7 pencil drawings)|
|Box 3||Manship, Paul (1 pencil drawing)|
|Box 3||Williams, Wheeler (1 pencil drawing)|
|Box 3||Unidentified (1 page pencil drawings)|
|Box 3||Awards 1935-1963 (2 folders)|
|Box 3||Re: Beethoven Association|
|Box 3||Financial, legal|
|Box 3||Photographs - personal|
|Box 3||Announcement, booklet, programs (3 programs, 1 each of others)|
|Box 3||Clippings 1919-1957, undated (6 folders)|
|Box 3||Exhibition catalogs, invitations 1931-1947, undated|
|Publicity, reviews, miscellany|
|Box 3||Animal X-rays|
|Box 3||The Sculptor's Way|
|Oversize 1||The Sculptor's Way, photograph of front cover|
|Box 3||Reprints 1949-1952 - George A. Dondero speeches on communism and art from Congressional Record.|
|Oversize 1||Scrapbook 1926-1936, undated - newspaper clippings|
|Photocopies only. For preservation purposes, damaged originals were discarded.|
|Box 3||Transcript 1932 - from radio broadcast about Brenda Putnam by Alice Hutchins Drake|