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Will Barnet Portrait

Will Barnet Portrait Will Barnet Portrait

Will Barnet

Beverly, Massachusetts 1911

New York, New York 2012

Photo Caption:
Will Barnet, Study for Self Portrait, 1982 1983, charcoal on vellum with traces of colored pencil, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the artist 1994.42.11.

Photo Caption:
Will Barnet, Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum J0001262

Luce Artist Quote

"I have always searched for clarity and harmony over violence, chaos and accidents." The artist, 1989, quoted in Will Barnet, Springfield Art Museum, 2001


Painter and printmaker, teacher at the Art Students League. Barnet's images of women and domestic scenes, distinctive in their emphasis on flat painting surfaces, are meditative in tone.

Joan Stahl American Artists in Photographic Portraits from the Peter A. Juley & Son Collection (Washington, D.C. and Mineola, New York: National Museum of American Art and Dover Publications, Inc., 1995)

Additional Biographies

Luce Artist Biography

Will Barnet studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, then moved to New York in 1930 to attend the Art Students League. He worked as a printer for the school and experimented with techniques such as lithography, etching, and woodcutting. After his first son was born, Barnet began a series of paintings that show scenes of family life. He experimented with abstraction for several years, aiming to "eliminate realistic space" in favor of simple geometric forms. His later work was more representational and focused almost entirely on the female form, emphasizing the contrast between natural curves and rigidly composed backgrounds of horizontal and vertical forms. ("Will Barnet, Works of Six Decades," American Art Review, June-July 1994)