Skip to content
print page header

The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Emily Putnam Schramm sketchbooks

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1864-1889
Creator: Schramm, Emily Putnam (1864-1889)
Extent: 1.00 linear inch.
Collection Number: IWA0523
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Sketchbooks of landscapes which focus on the Mississippi River.

Access: The sketchbooks are open for research.

Use: Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to The University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The sketchbooks (donor no. 250) were purchased by the Special Collections Department in 1996.

Preferred Citation: Emily Putnam Schramm sketchbooks, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5068
Curator: Kären Mason

Emily Louise Putnam was born in 1864 in Burlington, Iowa, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Putnam. She had one sibling, age and sex unknown. James Putnam had been prominent in Burlington but moved to Kentucky. Emily Putnam married Charles E. Schramm, a successful dry goods businessman, while in her early twenties. She buried her only child on November 8, 1889 and died of puerperal fever November 11, 1889.

The Emily Putnam Schramm sketchbooks date from 1887 to 1889 and measure one linear inch. They accompany three obituary notices from Burlington newspapers announcing the deaths of Emily Schramm's mother Louise Ruble Putnam in 1878, Emily Putnam Schramm in 1889, and Emily's husband Charles E. Schramm on August 26, 1913. Each of the sketchbooks is dated inside the front cover, one 1887 and the other 1888. Each sketch is also dated, the last dated sketch February 21, 1889.

Emily Schramm sketched landscapes, concentrating a great deal on the Mississippi River. She labeled several of her drawings, including "Maiden's Rock," "Rush Slough," "Picnic Point," and "ShadyIsle." To one she gave a few words; she drew a boy, a horse, and a fish. She labeled each and gave the weight: "horse, 228 class," "boy (age 9) 225 lbs.," "fish, 18 lbs." She drew many isolated trees, several homesteads with meticulous detail of windows, porches, chimney and fences. One series of sketches may be self-portraits: a young woman seated at the piano, a young woman leaning against a tree, and a young woman sitting on a riverbank. She sketched mostly in pencil but occasionally used ink.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: Sketchbooks

  • Series 1: Sketchbooks
  • Box 1:
  • Sketchbook - 1887
  • Sketchbook - 1888-1889
  • Obituaries - 1878, 1889, 1913