Lost L.A.: El Molino Viejo in San Marino, portrait of another era
The year is 1887. The place, El Molino Viejo (the Old Mill) in what is now San Marino. The woman painting is Elizabeth Putnam, an art teacher from Los Angeles. At this time, art is among a few genteel pastimes that men permit women to pursue, as Sam Watters writes in his latest Lost L.A. column, and painting outdoors is the style of the time. Looming over Putnam's shoulder is her husband-to-be, Gutzon Borglum. He went on to carve Mt. Rushmore.
For all their progress, Watters wrote, women of this era still lived in a man's world. From this one photo, we learn volumes about the times -- and a closer look reveals that not all is as it may seem.
-- Craig Nakano
Photo: Sierra Madre Historical Preservation Society
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