Oral history interview with Wallace Putnam, 1982 Aug. 13-20
Putnam, Wallace, 1899-1989
Berman, Avis, 1949-
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project
Place of publication, production, or execution:
New York (State)
Transcript: 36 p.
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 57 min.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Wallace Putnam conducted 1982 Aug. 13-20, by Avis Berman, for the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and His Times oral history project.
Putnam recalls his youth and art training in Boston, Mass., his move to Hartford, Conn., and friendship with Milton Avery, whom he met when they both worked filing policies at Traveler's Insurance Co. He talks about his and Avery's early careers in New York and his first acquaintance with Mark Rothko. He remembers Rothko's early concerns as an artist, his interest in music, and visits to his studio and home (including catsitting for the Rothko's for three weeks).
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Wallace Putnam, 1982 Aug. 13-20. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
Wallace Putnam (1899-1989) was a painter, writer, lithographer, and draftsman from Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
This interview was conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and his Times oral history project, with funding provided by the Mark Rothko Foundation. Others interviewed on the project (by various interviewers) include: Sonia Allen, Sally Avery, Ben-Zion, Bernard Braddon, Ernest Briggs, Rhys Caparn, Elaine de Kooning, Herbert Ferber, Esther Gottlieb, Juliette Hays, Sidney Janis, Buffie Johnson, Jacob Kainen, Louis Kaufman, Jack Kufeld, Katharine Kuh, Stanley Kunitz, Joseph Liss, Dorothy Miller, Betty Parsons, Rebecca Reis, Maurice Roth, Sidney Schectman, Aaron Siskind, Joseph Solman, Hedda Sterne, Jack Tworkov, Esteban Vicente and Ed Weinstein. Each has been cataloged separately.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001