Edmund Snow Carpenter 1922 – 2011


 Ted Carpenter

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I forward this sad news of Ted Carpenter’s passing. Ted was of course a long time friend and Explorations collaborator of Marshall McLuhan.

I have included some thoughts and an essay by Harald Prins and John Bishop. Harald and several others will be speaking about the collaborations between Carpenter and McLuhan at the McLuhan100 Conference in [Toronto] in November.

– Janine Marchessault, Ph.D., Canada Research Chair in Art, Digital Media and Globalization, York University, Toronto, Canada http://www.visiblecity.ca/marchessault/index.html


From: “Harald Prins” <prins@ksu.edu>

To: “Visual Communications Discussion” <VISCOM@LISTSERV.TEMPLE.EDU>

Sent: Saturday, July 2, 2011 1:51:32 PM

Subject: Re: Edmund Snow Carpenter

Like many others who have known Ted over the years, I share a feeling of loss of a wonderful old friend and truly original soul – one of those strong individuals who walked this earth according to the beat of his own drum.

For those of you planning to visit Houston any time soon, you will have the opportunity to see his beautiful exhibit “Upside Down: Arctic Realities” at the Menil Museum, which earlier showed at the Quai Branly in Paris. In that museum is also a permanent exhibit room curated by Ted, Witnesses to a Surrealist Vision, inspired by the idea of visual puns in tribal art articulating the idea of a profound truth whose opposite is equally true. Somehow, thinking about the man who conceived this marvelous exhibit, I cannot help but seeing foreshadowing of an epitaph…


From: “John” <bhagwan.john@GMAIL.COM>


Sent: Saturday, July 2, 2011 12:50:52 PM

Subject: RIP Edmund Snow Carpenter

Ted Carpenter died last night and I feel numb at the loss of my friend, mentor and inspiration.  He allowed me to make a film about him, and asked that I make another about the 17th and 18th Century farm houses and barns he and Adelaide de Menil restored at Further Lane and which are now the city hall of East Hampton. I will have to leave it to someone else to talk about Ted’s ideas and achievements.

Now they just tumble through my head, and I have to reflect back to moments as the sun was setting at Further lane and I sat with Ted watching the deer cross the meadow, drinking red wine, and not talking. Harald Prins (who made the first film with me) and I wrote an article (linked below) that gives some idea of Ted’s life.


Oh what a blow that phantom gave us…

John Bishop –  www.media-genenration.com  – Carpenter Article by Prins and Bishop in VAR.pdf 2061K

      Explorations 3 & 4

 Explorations 8

2 Responses to “Edmund Snow Carpenter 1922 – 2011”

  1. 1 Timothy Troy

    I first met Ted Carpenter when I was a graduate student at the New School for Social Research in the 1980s. Subsequently we became close friends. He’d drop by the NY Public “Lions” Library where I worked; and my wife, Theresa, and I would visit Addie and Ted out on the Island. My strongest memory of Ted will be his ability to listen and his eye contact while listening. It was as if he was listening not only with his ears – but with his eyes! A truly generous and gifted man; a wonderful teacher and a brillant anthropologist.

    Tim Troy

    • It sounds like Ted Carpenter was the proverbial gentleman and a scholar. I wish I had known him. Thanks, Tim……..AlexK

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