Theodore Torre-Bueno (originally “de la Torre Bueno) was born in 1914 in White Plains, NY where he attended grade school and high school. After high school he went to the art Students’ League where he studied with Grosz, Sternberg and Vaclav Vytlacil. He was a student of anatomy as both art and anthropology and attended the University of Arizona as a student in anthropology. He then went to Chicago and studied at the new Bauhaus with Moholy-Nagy. Torre-Bueno was in the U.S. Army Air Force for four years during World War II (1942-1946), returning to the University of Arizona afterwards to earn his degree in anthropology. At Colombia University he earned a Master’s degree in Art History, studying with Upjohn, Wingert and Mahler.
The fifth child in his family, he was a natural draughtsman. His mother saved his early drawings and marked them with his age and what he said the drawing was about. Later, he always carried a sketchbook with him on the subways and throughout Europe.
Torre-Bueno taught at the Boy’s School in New Jersey and later at the Ladycliff Catholic College for girls. He continued to paint and draw and began working for the Otis Elevator Company as a designer of custom cabs, including one for the King of Saudi Arabia. He is descended from one of the original Spanish conquistador families of Peru, where the family is still very prominent.