Will Barnet from the Permanent Collection

This exhibition features a selection of prints by the artist Will Barnet that are part of a special collection of 68 works donated to PAAM by Jack Krumholz and Marjorie Jacoby in 2022.

Carefully curated over decades, this collection represents a well-rounded selection of both figurative and abstract works that highlight Barnet’s significant career. Born in 1911 in Beverly, Massachusetts, Will Barnet knew by the age of ten that he wanted to be an artist. As a student, he studied with Philip Leslie Hale at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and viewed first-hand John Singer Sargent at work on the murals of the Boston Public Library. In 1930, Barnet studied at the Art Students League of New York, with Stuart Davis and Charles Locke, beginning his long association with the school. Here he concentrated on painting as well as printmaking, and, in 1936, he became the official printer for the Art Students League. There, he later instructed students in the graphic arts at the school and taught alongside the likes of Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Robert Beverly Hale and Richard Pousette-Dart.

Barnet influenced a generation of artists, including James Rosenquist, Knox Martin, Emil Milan, Paul Jenkins, Ethel Fisher and Cy Twombly. Barnet continued his love of teaching with positions at the Cooper Union, at Yale University, and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.


“…in 1956, I spent the summer in Provincetown. I remember walking down a road there and feeling very happy to be in an environment surrounded by sun, water and sailboats. These feelings had a great impact on my palette and I created a series of works, which had various levels of nature: under water, above the water and in the heavens. I composed them into horizontal bands and then placed vertical thrusts in between. In a sense, I found compartments, colors, changes equivalent to the experiences I had in nature.

In the field of abstract landscape strong feelings and emotions pertaining to nature take place. These landscape forms have now become shorthand symbols often able to convey with poetic feeling the love for and joyousness of nature in its changing moods. My work is constantly revitalized by direct contact with reality. The abstract work is never concerned with amorphic feelings but always with visual images of very real experiences, which demand that each form exist in its own sharply defined character.”

– Will Barnet, New York City, 2009


The permanent collection is an important measure of any museum’s value. At PAAM, the holdings of local and regional art is extensive and dynamic, comprising more than 4,000 works by over 900 artists who have worked in Provincetown and on Cape Cod. The PAAM collection weaves together at least three major art movements—each a significant strand of American art history—and creates perspectives that uniquely position the Provincetown Art Colony as a pertinent fixture to the larger art world. We extend our deepest gratitude to our new and continuing donors.

PAAM is extremely grateful to Jack Krumholz and Marjorie Jacoby for their generous gift.