About the Putters
Norton S. Putter was born in Poland which his family left to escape poverty and the attacks of anti-Semites. Having never forgotten this oppression, he went on to become involved in the major social movements of his time. Norton spent his life in the United States working for peace and social justice, especially in the civil rights movement. He actively supported the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, worked in the 1948 Henry Wallace presidential campaign, was a lifetime member of the NAACP, a leader in the desegregation of the Syracuse public schools and became a financial supporter of The Davis- Putter Scholarship Fund. He also worked passionately in support of the arts as a co-founder of the Metropolitan School for the Arts, as a supporter of classic music radio and the Paul Robeson theater group.
ArtRage grew out of the Syracuse Cultural Workers which Norton financially supported in its early days when no other sources of capital were available to it. He remained active in progressive politics and the arts in Syracuse, and worked for peace and justice until his death in February 2001.
Ruth C. Putter, as a young photographer living in New York City, was influenced by the “Decisive Moment” work of Henri Cartier Bresson and she joined the progressive Photo League. In Syracuse, she worked for a time with Fred Demarest of Syracuse University. Her photographs have been published in national photography and feminist publications and calendars including the Syracuse Cultural Workers’ Peace Calendar. She co-authored a book of photographs and writings on the women’s Peace Encampment at Romulus, New York, entitled; “The Women’s Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice”, (Temple University Press). Her exhibits include those at the Everson Museum, Lightwork and many local and national galleries.
An activist, feminist and talented artist herself, Ruth generously offered to fund the creation of ArtRage: The Norton Putter Gallery, as a memorial to honor her husband’s many years of volunteer work for social justice. We proudly carry on the tradition of resistance in his name.