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Carolyn Putney retiring from the Toledo Museum of Art
Saturday, November 22, 2014 3:55 PM
As documented on the INS website, out of the more than 217 museums in the world that have netsuke and inro in their collections, there are 82 located in the United States. Of these 82, only two support and care about netsuke in any substantive way: the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Toledo Museum of Art. THERE IS NO NUMBER THREE! The person behind this support of netsuke at the TMA has always been Carolyn Putney. In November 2014 she announced that she will retire at the end of February 2015.
After almost 37 years at TMA Carolyn Putney rose to become the Chief Curator and Curator of Asian Art, and a very active supporter of netsuke in the Museum. During that time the museum has published two books on netsuke, and even more important, as documented in my previous article
, created a gallery dedicated exclusively to netsuke, where all of the Museum's netsuke and inro are on display.
All of this did not happen in a vacuum. It happened with the encouragement and help of Roger Mandle, Director (1977 - 1988), Kurt Luckner, Curator of Ancient Art (1969-1995) who worked with collector and Toledo native Richard Silverman before Carolyn. Also the four directors, David Steadman (1989 - 1999), Roger Berkowitz (1999 - 2004) Don Bacigalupi (2004 - 2009), and Brian Kennedy (2010 - present), have all supported the publications, exhibitions, and expansion of the netsuke collection and its display over these many years.
The addition of the Norman L. Sandfield Netsuke Library at the Museum has helped to make Toledo and the Museum a great netsuke resource now and into the future.
We thank Carolyn for all of her valuable support for netsuke and wish her and her husband Dick, who is also retiring in the spring, the best of luck in retirement.
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