Born Rebecca Inez Burrum in Manchester, Tennessee to Hugh H. Burrum and Leona M. Graham, she lived in Waverly and Gallatin, Tennessee. As an undergraduate at Duke University she met and married Jack F. Matlock, Jr.
After graduation, they moved to New York City where both took graduate studies at Columbia University. In 1953 they moved to Hanover, New Hampshire, where the first three of their children (James, Hugh, and Nell) were born. In 1956 the Matlocks joined the Foreign Service and were posted in following years to Vienna, Oberammergau, Moscow, Accra, Zanzibar, and Dar es Salaam. Two more children were born during their first tour in Moscow (David and Joseph).
The Matlocks served four tours in the Soviet Union, between 1961 and 1991, and during that time she travelled to 14 of the 15 Union Republics. They were posted to Moscow in 1961, 1974, 1981, and finally in 1987 when Jack Matlock was appointed U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union. During their final tour they lived at Spaso House in Moscow until 1991 and their retirement from the Foreign Service.
After leaving the Foreign Service they lived for five years in North Stonington, Connecticut, and New York City; and then moved to Princeton, New Jersey. In 2009 she was named Honorary Trustee of the Friends of Davis International Center of Princeton University. The Matlocks now divide their time between a home in Princeton and her family farm in Booneville, Tennessee.
Sarah Caldwell biography
Matlock served on the board of the Opera Company of Boston and interviewed director Sarah Caldwell over the course of several years to produce her biography, Challenges: A Memoir of My Life in Opera.
Matlock has had more than 50 exhibits of her photographs, as well as a series of exhibits by photographer Donald Schomacker.
|1983||Washington, DC||American Foreign Service Club Library||Black and White in Color|||
|1984||New York||Columbia University||On Architecture|||
|1984||New York||Republican Women’s Club||On Architecture|||
|1985||Seattle, WA||University of Washington||Art in Czechoslovakia, including exhibition by Donald Schomacker|||
|1988||Moscow||Cinematographers Union||International Film Festival|||
|January 1990||Moscow||Writer’s Union||People|||
|March 8, 1999||Princeton, NJ||Stevenson Hall, Princeton University||Rebecca Matlock Exhibit|||
|September, 1999||Princeton, NJ||Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University||Excursion to Georgia|||
|June 6, 2004||Tbilisi, Georgia||Tbilisi Movie Actors' Theatre||Special Places of Rebecca|||
|March 18, 2005||Greensboro, NC||Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship||The Time of Mikhail Gorbachev|||
|November 7–18, 2005||Princeton, NJ||Chancellor Green café, Princeton University||The Time of Mikhail Gorbachev|||
|September 1, 2006||New York, NY||Harriman Institute, International Affairs Building||Gorbachevs, Reagans and Bushes|||
|November 7, 2007||Princeton, NJ||Rockefeller College Gallery, Princeton University||Repairs of the Inca Bridge over Peru's Apurimac River|||
|November, 2008||Princeton, NJ||International Center, Princeton University||Black and White in Color|||
- At Spaso House: People and meetings: Notes of the wife of an American ambassador (in Russian) Transl. from English by T. Kudriavtseva, Moscow: EKSMO, Algorithm, 2004 ISBN 5-699-05497-9
- Challenges: A Memoir of My Life in Opera by Caldwell, Sarah with Matlock, Rebecca, Middletown, Conn. : Wesleyan University Press, 2008 ISBN 0-8195-6885-6
- Squire, Patricia Interview with Rebecca Burrum Matlock Frontline Diplomacy, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (January 11, 1990)
- Rebecca Matlock Exhibit The Princeton Packet (March 19, 1999)
- Friends of Davis International Center of Princeton University, Fall 2009 Newsletter
- Blassnigg, Katharina, Challenges: A Memoir of My Life in Opera (review) Leonardo Reviews (December 1, 2008)
- Bartus, Tom (3 November 2005). "Photo exhibition focuses on Gorbachev era, Nov. 7-18". The Trustees of Princeton University. Retrieved 3 March 2015.