Putnam Inn (Hotel), Painted in DeLand, Florida, 1925. Watercolor. 12 ½ X 20 inches.

The Putnam Hotel design was Wm. J. Carpenter’s first architectural commission in DeLand in 1923, and is still in use in 2010. By 1925, when he did this painting, it had become a winter destination for prominent winter visitors who were entertained by many celebrated entertainers of the period. This painting has received some rough treatment and is in need of restoration to bring out its original beauty.

From Wm. J. Carpenter, the UnForgotten Man, Vol. I, The Artist

J. W. Carpenter, 2005, Unpublished


June 10, 2010


The Forgotten Man by Wm. J. Carpenter

Painted in DeLand, Florida, 1934

Watercolor.    7 x 10 1/4 inches

It is likely that when the artist created this painting in 1934 he was expressing his personal feelings after a particularly depressing Christmas in 1933 and the ensuing months.  We know he pictured himself as one of the forgotten after he had lost everything he had during the big financial bust of the late 1920s.  In his waning years, while struggling to maintain his dignity and direction, he was able to capture the despair of the down and out in this painting with exceptional insight.  The homeless, many of them wounded veterans of WWI, followed the sun south to Florida in the fall and back north in the spring.   The scene is typical of those along US Highway 17 through central Florida during the Great Depression years of the 1930s and is a very poignant representation of these people and the emotions they were experiencing during that time.

This is one of the few paintings by Mr. Carpenter in the collection in which any personal emotion is shown.  The depression expressed in this painting is so strong that we are drawn into it, where we feel the dejection and hopelessness of the subject. The colors are subdued and emphasize the intensity of the emotion. The majority of his other paintings appear as illustrations of his buildings, or floras and scenics which are accurate depictions of the scenes, but more of the landscape type.

The use of  “The UnForgotten Man” as an umbrella title for my documentation of Mr. Carpenter’s life and works came to me after realizing the significance of this painting.  The play on the title and theme of this painting seemed most apropos for the story of his life as I documented it.  Let us hope that he does indeed become

The UN Forgotten Man.




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  1. Thanks for such an informative site. What an extraordinary man with exceptional talents.

  2. Thanks. It was great meeting with you yesterday. I wish you great success in the preservation of the Garnsey paintings in the Seville School. Jack

  3. While looking in an old bible my grandfather left, I found one of his water color paintings. I looked everywhere for information about Mr. Carpenter, and was only able to find it here. It’s a small post card like water color that depicts coconut trees with the sea on the background, signed by him. It’s beautiful, thanks for the page, without this page I would have never know this extraordinary man 🙂 The print is dated 1939.

    • Hi Tamara,
      It’s good to hear that my grandfather’s work is still appreciated. The painting that was preserved so well in your grandfather’s Bible has much more vivid colors than the two similar ones in my collection, which have unfortunately been subjected to years of the bright Florida sunshine.

      These paintings were created in his studio which was just half a block off the Atlantic Ocean beach in Daytona. Your grandfather probably acquired it there as a souvenir while visiting the “world famous beach” on his trip to West Palm. Our grandfathers may have had a great chat because WJC practiced in Pittsburgh from 1898 to 1920 and his wife Agnes Coe was from Brady’s Bend.

      I’ll try to add one of these paintings to the Gallery pages soon.


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