Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Emilio Pettoruti letters to Julio Payró
Collection number: 2001.M.18
Pettoruti, Emilio, 1892-1971
Getty Research Institute
Special Collections and Visual Resources
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, California 90040-1688
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.
Language: Collection material in Spanish
Open for use by qualified researchers.
Emilio Pettoruti letters to Julio Payró, 1924, 1943-1957,
Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, Accession no. 2001.M.18.
Acquired in 2001.
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
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.
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
A typed inventory lists the paintings in Pettoruti's 1924 exhibit at the Witcomb gallery; 4 clippings review his 1953 exhibit
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.
Curatella Manes, Pablo, 1891-1962
Payró, Julio E., 1899-1971—Correspondence
Paris (France)—Intellectual life—20th century
Payró, Julio E.,
Pettoruti, Rosa Maria
Plástica (Buenos Aires, Argentina)