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Finding aid for the Emilio Pettoruti letters to Julio Payró, 1924, 1943-1957
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Emilio Pettoruti letters to Julio Payró
    Date (inclusive): 1924-1957 (bulk 1943-1957)
    Number: 2001.M.18
    Creator/Collector: Pettoruti, Emilio, 1892-1971
    Physical Description: 57.0 items (80 leaves)
    The Getty Research Institute
    Special Collections
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
    (310) 440-7390
    Abstract: The collection contains letters from the Argentine artist Emilio Pettoruti to the art historian and critic, Julio Payró (1943-1957). One of the 52 letters is to Pettoruti, 3 letters are from Pettoruti's wife. A one page inventory lists Pettoruti's paintings exhibited at the Witcomb Gallery, Buenos Aires, 1924. Four newspaper clippings are reviews of Pettoruti's exhibition at the San Marco gallery in Rome (October 1953). The letters document Pettoruti's Buenos Aires exhibition in 1924, his European exhibitions in the 1950s, and his move to Paris. They reflect in their content the experience of a Latin American artist amidst the European modernism art movement of the time.
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    Language: Collection material is in Spanish; Castilian

    Biographical/Historical Note

    Emilio Pettoruti was born in La Plata, Argentina, of Italian parents. In 1913 he went to Italy, where he came in contact with the Italian avantgarde (F. T. Marinetti, and later the group around Giacomo Balla and Giorgio de Chirico). In 1921 he went to Munich and in 1923 was invited to exhibit at Der Sturm gallery in Berlin. He returned home in 1924, opening an exhibit of his work in Buenos Aires at the Witcomb gallery. Pettoruti taught at the university and served as director of the Fine Arts museum in La Plata while continuing to paint. In 1952 he returned to Europe and in 1953 he settled in Paris, where he lived for the rest of his life.

    Administrative Information


    Open for use by qualified researchers.

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    Emilio Pettoruti letters to Julio Payró, 1924, 1943-1957, Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, Accession no. 2001.M.18.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired in 2001.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Forty-seven letters are addressed to Julio Payró from Emilio Pettoruti. Pettoruti's wife, Maria Rosa, typed many of the letters and sometimes added a note at the end, signing with her initials. Four letters are entirely hers. One letter is to Pettoruti from the Comisión Argentina de Artistas Plásticos por la Paz.
    Most of the letters are dense with information about modern art and artists, artistic events, and their echo in the media. Pettoruti informs Payró about Argentinian artists working abroad, and discusses European artists and the impact of politics on exhibition reviews. His patriotic euphoria at the downfall of the Peronist dictatorship is soon followed by disenchantment and criticism. The artist and his wife try to explain his new work and innovative colors to Payró, who is writing about Pettoruti for Studio magazine.
    A typed inventory lists the paintings in Pettoruti's 1924 exhibit at the Witcomb gallery; 4 clippings review his 1953 exhibit in Rome.
    Because of the fragility of the letters, the entire collection was scanned by the repository in 2003. The numbering for each item refers to the individual digital images.

    Arrangement note

    The collection is arranged in two series and each item is numbered, 1-57: Series I. Letters to Julio Payró, 1943-1957; Series II. Miscellanea, 1924, 1953

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Names

    Curatella Manes, Pablo, 1891-1962
    Elgar, Frank
    Payró, Julio E., 1899-1971
    Pettoruti, Emilio, 1892-1971

    Subjects - Topics

    Art criticism--France
    Art criticism--Italy
    Art exhibitions--Argentina
    Art exhibitions--France
    Art exhibitions--Italy
    Art, Abstract--Argentina
    Art, Abstract--France
    Art, Argentine--20th century

    Subjects - Places

    Paris (France)--Intellectual life--20th century

    Subjects - Titles

    Plástica (Buenos Aires, Argentina) Studio (London)

    Genres and Forms of Material



    Payró, Julio E., 1899-1971
    Pettoruti, Rosa Maria