Foundations of Anthropology at the University of California   Seal of The University of California
Frederic Ward Putnam (1839-1915)

Frederic Ward Putnam (1839-1915)

Putnam, a zoologist interested in Native American cultures, was a leading contributor to the development of the discipline of anthropology in America. In 1875, he was appointed curator at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and in 1887 was appointed professor at Harvard. He also held a position at the American Museum of Natural History, for a total of three major appointments at the time he took the position in California. Earlier, he had overseen the Department of Ethnology at the World’s Columbian Exposition (Chicago, 1891-1894), where he had employed Franz Boas. Due to his responsibilities in the East, he never spent much time in California during his appointment (1901-1909) and he never taught a course in the Department.

Courtesy P. A. Hearst Museum