Painter Helen Frankenthaler was known for her personal and spirited postcard correspondence with family and friends, described by her as “postcardisms.” Found in the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation Archives is a volley of incoming and outgoing postcards between Frankenthaler and Jock Truman, Betty Parsons Gallery Director from 1961 – 1974, written between the mid-1960s and the early 1970s, which document their light-hearted and personal exchanges.
While Frankenthaler often sent postcards to Truman picturing buildings or cityscapes, he preferred vintage postcards from the turn of the century. Along with a group of vintage leather postcards, he sent a note reading: “Dear Favorite Painter: Good luck, love & kisses, an admirer, ’66 Truman.”
Delighted by the leather postcards, Frankenthaler responded with an update on life at her home on East 94th Street:
June 1st . Jock dear – How’s this for openers? Thank you for your face in the crowd yesterday. Right now, it’s 8 a.m. and I’ve just watered new shrubs in the garden and am having my “Special K” while the new poodle “Martell” lies at my feet with a bone. (Hardly a scene for the Divine Sarah).* But spring! And soon to my Provincetown studio, and the Bay. I tremble at the thought of your leather card. love x – Helen.
Generally, we send postcards while on vacation or away from home, but on these occasions, both Frankenthaler and Truman were writing from New York, enjoying staying in touch via postcardisms.
* Sarah Bernhardt, silent movie actress, pictured on the opposite side of the postcard.
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