NanEtte Richardson Gallery

Margaret Putnam

Margaret Putnam left an artistic legacy rare even in the art world. Revered for her innovative techniques and inimitable style prior to her death in 1989, her renown continues today.

She was a 20th century woman with a Renaissance soul who lavished her work with brilliant color, always breaking and making the rules to achieve the desired effect. An explorer, Putnam was basically self-taught; it could not be otherwise because no one had the vision that she had. She worked in oil, watercolor, wax resist, casein, and pastel, exploring new avenues, developing new techniques, combining mediums, and creating an unique style, instantly recognizable, unlike any other.

A background in fashion illustration was evident in the color, texture, and design that adorned both male and female figures. In abstract work, there was always a keen but unique sense of design.

She worked over 8 hours a day, 363 days a year. Even after becoming partially paralyzed from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehring’s disease), she continued this schedule, working all day on the day that she passed away – “I paint seven days a week because there is nothing else I would rather do.” Of Margaret Putnam, Dr. Amy Freeman Lee has
said: “The apogee of her achievement was reached as she struggled upstream against the dangerous currents of life without complaint or self-pity. For Margaret, it was always full courage ahead! In my entire life, I have never known anyone with more valor.”
  • Oil
  • River Art Show, San Antonio, TX, 1956, 1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962
  • Beaumont Museum, Beaumont, TX, Purchase Award, 1957
  • Texas Fine Arts Museum, Purchase Award, 1958, 1962
  • Texas Fine Arts Museum, Honorable Mention, 1958,
  • Texas Watercolor Society, Award, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1979, 1981
  • Texas Watercolor Society, Purchase Award, 1959, 1963, 1965
  • Local Artists Exhibition, San Antonio, TX, Purchase Award, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1966, 1967, 1970, 1972
  • Old Testament National Exhibit, Award
  • One of Ten Outstanding Women in San Antonio, 1964
  • San Antonio Art League, San Antonio, TX, Outstanding Artist of the Year
  • J.C. Penney Golden Rule Award, 1987
  • Texas Fine Arts, Three-Time Winner of Top Award for Oils
  • San Antonio Business Committee for the Arts, Recipient of the Year Award

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