Barnet, Will

The distinguished American painter, printmaker, and teacher Will Barnet has been an important influence on the art world for close to eight decades. During his long career he has created art that ranges from classical figuration to abstraction; he has worked in many styles—often outside the expectations of the mainstream art world—while always remaining creatively independent. Through more than seventy years and countless movements in art, Barnet has maintained a recognized presence as an artist, a remarkable accomplishment.

Barnet’s work has been widely exhibited both nationally and internationally, beginning with his first one-person show in 1938 at the Hudson Walker Gallery in New York. His solo exhibitions in museums and galleries continue into the twenty-first century.  His presence in public collections is impressive. A partial list of collections includes the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Modern Art; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the National Gallery of Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery; and the Whitney Museum of American Art. The Ford Foundation, the National Academy of Design, the Royal Society of Arts in London, and the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters have recognized his work with awards and fellowships.

Barnet’s art career has been remarkable, but no less remarkable is the indelible mark he has made as a teacher. He has taught at the Art Students League, Cooper Union, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Yale and Cornell Universities, and numerous other universities and colleges. His students have gone on to become extremely successful artists and influential educators. His inspiring work as a teacher will be sustained for years to come through the accomplishments of former students.

The continued exhibition of Barnet’s work, the prominent presence of his former students in the art world, and his acknowledged importance as a teacher and creator are strong evidence of his impact on American art.