The John and Mildred Putnam Sculpture Collection
The John and Mildred Putnam Sculpture Collection began with a gift from the Mildred Andrews Fund to commission Snow Fence by Gene Kangas. Further gifts followed, and in 1981 Mildred Andrews Putnam established a permanent endowment at the university for the acquisition of sculpture. Since 1981 more than thirty two works have been purchased or commissioned for the collection.
The goal of the Putnam Collection is to enrich the visual and educational environment of the Case Western Reserve University campus and of University Circle by developing awareness and understanding of the variety and vitality of the work of our regional artists.
For the purposes of the collection, the terms “region” and “regional artist” are broadly defined. Cleveland and the Western Reserve is the geographical center but artists living in all of Ohio, the neighboring states and surrounding areas, along with those born or educated in the region are also included. Participating artists are selected for the quality of their work and every effort is made to include both younger and established artists. The same broad approach applies to the character of the collection. It includes permanent works placed in public areas both indoors and outdoors, that in style and materials reflect the diversity of the creative work done in the region.
The Putnam collection is an historic first for Cleveland and the region, and the project will be a continuing one with more works added in the future. In this unique venture, the university and the community are fortunate to have had the enlightened support of Mrs. John Putnam and her son Peter.
This map and guide commemorates the first twenty years of the Putnam Collection. During those years many individuals, too many to name here, have provided advice and guidance. Special recognition and gratitude goes to the late Edward Henning, to Evan Turner and to Peter van Dijk – all of whom have served generously on the Putnam sculpture committee – and to William Ward, who has furnished expert counsel on placement and lighting. Juilee Decker has given invaluable assistance in the creation of this guide and in overseeing its publication.
A printed version of this map is available through the Department of Art History and Art.
Director of the Putnam Collection