Glenna Putt (1927-2016) “Legion of Honor Series #4”, oil on canvas, 16 x 20 inches, 1995. Signed with Putt’s customary initial in the lower left of the canvas “g 95”. The painting depicts the Palace of Legion of Honor museum, surrounded by 60 feet of scaffolding, during the seismic upgrade construction that took place in 1994 (by the Hansell Phelps Construction firm). Provenance: labels on reverse from Alan Stone Gallery, NYC; George Krevsky Gallery, SF; and the Campbell-Thiebaud Gallery, SF.
Glenna Putt was born in Los Angeles in 1927. She was educated at Chouinard Art Institute, Los Angeles, CA; Pomona College, Claremont, CA; and Queens College, New York, NY. Putt worked as a successful commercial artist, illustrator, and designer in New York City from 1948-1988, drawing magazine ads for Estee Lauder among others. In 1988 she returned to California and married the art dealer Charlie Campbell, a second marriage for both. Putt was best known for her cityscapes, floral paintings, and domestic interiors. She died in 2016 at the age of 89.
This painting achieves an elegant balance between classical architecture and modern construction. It has an appealing chalky quality and the sparse use of color is distinct and effective.
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San Francisco Chronicle photograph of the Palace of Legion of Honor museum, surrounded by 60 feet of scaffolding, during the 1994 seismic upgrade by the Hansell Phelps Construction firm: