November 13, 2012

My Fellow Members:

It is with great sadness that I write to inform you that our beloved Will Barnet passed away this morning at the age of 101, in the comfort of his home with his dear wife Elena by his side.

A member of The National Arts Club since 1977, Will contributed consistently as a teacher, a patron, a resident and a mentor to established and aspiring artists alike. He was, without question, a treasure and his spirit and legacy will remain a presence in The National Arts Club in perpetuity.

Known for his paintings, watercolors, drawings, and prints depicting both the human figure and animals, both in casual scenes of daily life and in more dreamlike worlds, his works have entered virtually every major public collection in the United States and he has been the subject of over eighty solo exhibitions. Will was the recipient of numerous awards including the first Artist's Lifetime Achievement Award Medal given on the occasion of the National Academy of Design's 175th anniversary, the College Art Association's Lifetime Achievement Award, the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art's Lippincott Prize, and the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters' Childe Hassam Prize. He was an elected member of the National Academy of Design, The Century Association, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2011 Will was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama and in 2012, the French government conferred upon him the insignia of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters.

His four children, Ona, Peter, Richard and Todd, seven grandchildren, and his wife, Elena, survive Will. Please join me in remembering with them, Will's extraordinary contributions to the American art landscape as well as our Club.


Dianne B. Bernhard