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 Elizabeth Wilson Putnam  (1887 - 1967)

About: Elizabeth Wilson Putnam
 

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Lived/Active: Indiana/Illinois      Known for: painting, teaching

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Elizabeth Wilson Putnam
An example of work by Elizabeth Wilson Putnam
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Elizabeth Wilson Putnam  (1887-1967)

Born in Marinette, Wisconsin, October 1, 1887; Died February 24, 1967, Sunland, California.  Parents were Dr. William E. and Jennie Wilson Putnam.  She graduated from Whiting, Indiana, High School in 1905.

Miss Elizabeth Wilson Putnam was an instructor in James Millikin University’s School of Fine and Applied Arts in Decatur, Illinois from fall 1912 – spring 1917. Her credentials, as listed in the Millikin University course bulletins from the time were “Elizabeth Wilson Putnam Instructor in Fine and Applied Arts  (1912-) - Chicago Art Institute, Graduate, 1907; Summer School, Chicago Art Institute, 1909, 1910, 1912, 1914; School of Painting, Saugatuck, Michigan, Summer School, 1911; Practical Experience, The Roycrofters, East Aurora, N.Y., 1908; Instructor, Art Institute, Chicago, 1907, and Summer School, 1909, 1910, 1912; Instructor , Department of Architecture and Drawing, Kansas State Agricultural College, 1908-1911; Instructor in Drawing, High School, Lawrence, Kansas, 1911-1912.”

She lived at two addresses in Decatur while she taught there, according to the campus student and faculty directories:  1158 W. North (1913-1914) and 1037 W. Wood (1914-1917).  She is mentioned from time to time in the student newspapers (The Decaturian), as a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, and her home was in Whiting, Indiana. She is listed as having taught design, silver, copper and leather modeling. Campus yearbooks show her photo in the faculty listings, and sometimes in the Alpha Chi Omega photos (she is listed as a “sister in the faculty.”)

Some general internet research shows that she was the daughter of Dr. W.E. Putnam of Whiting, Indiana, and in 1935 started a job as art supervisor of the schools of Miami, Florida. She appears to have taught at Kansas University in Lawrence, Kansas in the early 1920’s and during WWI served for two years in a government position doing occupational therapy.  She painted under the name E. Wilson Putnam, and exhibited at the All-Illinois Society of Fine Arts show in Chicago in 1939, where she may have been living at the time.  They also note her as having taught art at the Illinois State Normal at Bloomington. From the mid-1940’s through 1960 she is listed as an artist and living in Hammond, Indiana, after which she retired to Sunland, California.

Submitted by Edward P. Bentley, Art Researcher and Collector, Greenville, Michigan
 
 
Information courtesy of the Research Archivist, Staley Library, Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois.
 

Exhibition Record (Museums, Institutions and Awards):
Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1924

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