Will Barnet papers, 1938-2001

Barnet, Will, b. 1911 d. 2012
Painter, Printmaker
Active in New York, N.Y.

Collection size: ca. 11.1 linear ft. (partially microfilmed on 6 reels)

Collection Summary: REEL N68-22: Paintings of Barnet by James T. Farrell, 1950; exhibition catalogs, 1960-1968; general correspondence, correspondence regarding exhibitions, juries, lectures, teaching, correspondence with museums, art organizations, colleges and universities, dealers, and letters from artists; personal photographs; writings; magazine articles; press releases; and clippings.

REEL N68-35: Writings; drafts of letters; biographical outline; correspondence, 1952-1960; articles and notes about Barnet; clippings; and exhibition catalogs and announcements.

REEL N69-46: Correspondence with artists; writings; drafts of letters; general correspondence; photographs of Barnet including two of him in his studio, 1949 and 1951; ten photographs of Barnet at the Art Student's League lecturing to classes and with artists Byron Browne, Robert Brockman, Reginald Marsh; four group photos of Barnet with Joe Hirsch, Dore Ashton, and Bates Lowry, 1967 and 1968; and of his work; and printed material.

REEL N69-126: Correspondence with museums, galleries and others; sketchbooks; studies; notes and writings; photogrpahs; exhibition catalogs; and miscellany.

REEL N70-48: Writings by Barnet; and a typescript of a book about him by an unidentified author.

REEL 98: Correspondence, writings; photographs; Art Students' League publications; exhibition catalogs and announcements; clippings; and biographical data.

UNMICROFILMED (4.8 ft.) Biographical material; letters, 1940-1982, mainly from artists and galleries; legal and financial records, including price lists, receipts, and income tax records; notes and writings, 1940-1979, by and about Barnet, including transcripts of lectures and discussions; typescripts of interviews, 1968-1982; sketchbooks and 2 art works, 1959-1962; subject files, 1952-1976; photographs, 1939-1981, of Barnet, his work and an Art Student League dinner; exhibition announcements and catalogs; clippings; press releases; sound recordings and transcripts of lectures, interviews, and discussions, an 8 mm film transferred to VHS of an exhibition at Hirschl & Adler, 1966; and a videotape, 1981, of Barnet.

Among the correspondents are Daisy Barr, Bertha Schaefer Gallery, Cameron Booth, Minna Citron, Worden Day, Emily Genauer, Arthur Heintzelman, Jacob Kainen, Jacob Lawrence, George L. K. Morris, Seong Moy, Mike Nevelson, Henry Pearson, Esther Robles, Jack Shadbolt, Arnold Singer, George Swinton, John Von Wicht, and the Waddell Gallery. Subjects of photographs include Barnet, Ture Bengtz, Bryon Browne, Alexander Calder, Stuart Davis, Adolf Dehn, Ernest Fiene, Alfred Jenson, Dong Kingman, Reginald Marsh, Lee Salk, Ben Shahn, Raphael Soyer, and Art Students League.

General correspondence, 1962-1991; photographs of Barnet in his studio, with friends, and at events; "Will Barnet: Artist and Teacher," dissertation by Peter Barnet, New York University School of Education, 1974; and printed matter, 1960-1994, consisting of exhibition catalogs, announcements, reviews, and articles.

ADDITION: Includes correspondence, photographs, videotapes, and audiocassettes of lectures by, and interviews with Barnet from 1970-1998. Among the correspondents are Richard Anuskiewicz, Ethel Baziotes, Robert Blackburn, Christina Bothwell, Walker Cain, Worden Day, Francoise Gilot, Francine du Plessix Gray, John Hultberg, Everett Ray Kinstler, Mike Nevelson, George Picken, Anne Poor, Paul Resika, Clare Romano, Angelo Savelli, Harry Sternberg and Steve Wheeler. Among the photographs are Barnet at the printing press at the Art Students League (1930s), and with James Brooks, Everett Ray Kinstler, and Robert Motherwell (1980s); group portraits of Art Students League dinners (1950's) with Julien Levy, Theodoros Stamos, Vytlav Vytacil and William Zorach; and photographs of Barnet with Isabel Bishop, Robert Beverly Hale, and Nike; and unpublished images include the Famous Artists School in Westport, Conn. showing Barnet with Stuart Davis (1954).

Biographical/Historical Note: Painter and printmaker; New York, N.Y. Born in Beverly, Massachusetts, Barnet studied at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School from 1927 to 1930, and at the Art Students League from 1930 to 1933. He taught at the Art Students League beginning in 1936, and at the Cooper Union Art School from 1945 to 1965, as well as working as an instructor, visiting critic or professor at many other institutions.

Microfilmed material lent for filming 1968-1970; materials on reels N68-35, N69-46, and 98 subsequently donated with the exception of scattered items. The unmicrofilmed material was donated 1968-2001.

Funding for the preservation and transfer of motion picture film provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reels N68-22, N68-35, N69-46, N69-126, N70-48, and 98 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
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Also in the Archives

Related Materials

Will Barnet papers also at Syracuse University.