Skip to main content

Bill Barrett papers, 1930-2013, bulk 1950-2013

Bill Barrett papers, 1930-2013, bulk 1950-2013

Barrett, Bill, 1934-

Sculptor

Collection Information

Size: 8.9 linear feet

Summary: The papers of Bill Barrett measure 8.9 linear feet and date from 1930-2013, with the bulk of the material dating from 1950-2013. The collection consists of biographical material, lectures and a talk, exhibition files, scrapbooks, printed material, artwork, sketchbooks, and photographic materials that document Bill Barrett's career as a sculptor and painter.

Biographical/Historical Note

Bill Barrett (1934- ) is a sculptor and painter in New York, New York and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Barrett's given name is Harry Stanford Barrett IV.

Provenance

Donated 2013 by Bill Barrett.

A Finding Aid to the Bill Barrett Papers, 1930-2013, bulk 1950-2013, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.barrbill
Author
Finding aid prepared by Joy Goodwin
Biographical/Historical note
Bill Barrett (1934-) is a sculptor and painter in New York and New Mexico.
Harry Stanford Barrett IV, known as Bill Barrett was born in Los Angeles, California in 1934. His father, Stan Barrett was a painter and teacher; his mother, Theodora Barrett was a homemaker. Bill Barrett attended the University of Michigan from 1958-1960 receiving a Bachelor of Science in Design, a Master in Science, and a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture. By the late 1950's, Barrett had gained recognition for his welded sculptural works. His work was included in group shows at the Indiana Art Center and the Detroit Institute of Arts; his sculptures were acquired by museums and universities for their collections. During this period, Barrett held teaching positions at the Cleveland Institute of Art (1963-1964), the University of Michigan (1960-1968), and City College of New York (1970).
Bill Barrett had his first exhibition in New York at the Jason Gallery in 1967. By the 1970's, Barrett had set up a studio in New York City's Tribeca neighborhood and his fabricated aluminum sculptures were featured in the 1970 Whitney Biennial as well as in group exhibitions at the 10 Downtown, Andre Emmerich Gallery, and the Benson Gallery. In the 1980s, Bill Barrett's style evolved from abstract, geometric shapes to more fluid, expressive designs. Also, the Shidoni Foundry in New Mexico was overseeing the fabrication of Barrett's larger sculptural works. He was invited by Debora Hicks, daughter of the Foundry's owner, Tom Hicks to show his work at the Shidoni Sculpture Gardens, and since then, he has been a regular exhibitor at Shidoni. In 1992, Bill Barrett and Debora Hicks married, setting up a home and studio in New Mexico. Influenced by the landscape of New Mexico, Bill Barrett returned to painting and he has had several exhibitions that featured both his paintings and sculptures. In recent years, Barrett also designs jewelry.
Bill Barrett has participated in over 100 exhibitions held at galleries, museums, and other arts venues in the United States, Europe, and Japan. He has received numerous commissions to design both indoor and outdoor sculptures from individuals, corporations, academic institutions, local and state governments. Barrett has served as the President of the Sculptors Guild and he is a member of the Century Club and the National Arts Club. He has been awarded the Audubon Artists Gold Medal of Honor in Sculpture, the Chaim Gross Foundation Award for Audubon Artists, the Hakone Open Air Museum Award in Tokyo, and the Reynolds Memorial Award for Sculpture.
Bill Barrett has two sons and a daughter from a previous marriage. He and Debora Hicks Barrett divide their time between New York and New Mexico.
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged as 8 series.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1987-1994 (Boxes 1, 11; 0.1 linear ft.)
Series 2: Lectures and Talk, 1978-1987, 2000-2003 (Box 1; 0.3 linear ft.)
Series 3: Exhibition Files, 1978-2012 (Boxes 1-2; 0.8 linear ft.)
Series 4: Scrapbooks, circa 1930-2013 (Boxes 2-7; 6.1 linear ft.)
Series 5: Printed Material, circa 1990-2011 (Boxes 7-8, 11; 0.2 linear ft.)
Series 6: Artwork, 1971, 1995-2002 (Boxes 8, 11; 0.2 linear ft.)
Series 7: Sketchbooks, circa 1950s-1995 (Boxes 8-9; 1.0 linear ft.)
Series 8: Photographic Materials, 1959-1979, circa 2012-2013 (Box 10; 0.2 linear ft.)
Scope and Contents note
The papers of Bill Barrett measure 8.9 linear feet and date from 1930-2013, with the bulk of the material dating from 1950-2013. The collection consists of biographical material, lectures and a talk, exhibition files, scrapbooks, printed material, artwork, sketchbooks, and photographic materials that document Bill Barrett's career as a sculptor and painter.
Biographical material documents Barrett's awards from Audubon Artists and the Hakone Open Air Museum. Also included is an interview with Bill Barrett. Lectures and a talk consist of recordings on five videocassettes. Four lectures by Barrett were presented in conjunction with exhibition installations featuring his work. There is also a talk about public art given to a local community board in Sarasota, Florida. Exhibition files on nine videocassettes and one videodisc record openings of installations at galleries and the homes of private collectors. Nineteen scrapbooks document Barrett's solo and group exhibitions, public and private commissions as well as teaching positions and speaking engagements from circa 1970-2013.
Printed material includes some laminated display cards advertising Barrett's sculptures, a few reproductions of sculptures, and a monograph on the artist's work. Artwork by Bill Barrett consists of five pencil sketches of sculptures and five drawings that were used as preliminary studies for Barrett's paintings. Thirteen sketchbooks mostly contain preliminary studies for Barrett's sculptures; a few of the sketchbooks are annotated. Photographic materials include slides of artwork from 1959-1979 and a portfolio of digital prints of Bill Barrett's sculptures and paintings.
Provenance
Donated 2013 by Bill Barrett.
Processing Information note
This collection was processed to a minimal level and a finding aid prepared in 2014 by Joy Goodwin. The Archives of American Art has implemented minimal processing tactics when possible in order to increase information about and access to more of our collections. Minimal processing included arrangement to the series and folder levels. Generally, items within folders were simply verified with folder titles, but not arranged further. Folders within boxes were not numbered. The collection was rehoused in archival containers and folders, but not all staples and clips were removed.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Bill Barrett papers, 1930-2013, bulk 1950-2013. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

  • No downloads available