Blog

MASS MoCA: Chronicle the development of Barbara Ernst Prey’s museum commission here

MASS MoCA’s Building 6 now open and Barbara’s painting — considered the world’s largest watercolor — on view, watch Barbara working on her commission onsite     November 2016 Barbara … Continue reading

Painting Through the Irish Countryside

I have a major museum commission for MASS MoCA , but before I came back to my New York Studio to begin the project, I went on a painting trip … Continue reading

Painting Through Tudor England: A Unique Way to View History

I have books filled with my European and Asian travel drawings and watercolors. Some of them became illustrations for magazines such as The New Yorker, Gourmet, and The New York Times. I continued the … Continue reading

Last Weeks For Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible At The Met Breuer

I had been looking forward to this exhibit for a long time and was fortunate to be at the opening. The exhibit closes Sept 4th and if you haven’t had … Continue reading

Summer Destination: Colonial Williamsburg

I was recently invited to serve on the board of the Colonial Williamsburg Art Museums. I had known of the museums since my time at Williams College as an important collection of American art and artifacts Continue reading

A Walk Through the Art Show and the Armory Show

As an artist I am very interested in the process, and it was very informative to see Miro’s brushes (not the originals but copies), the paints and colors he used and the other objects that were in his studio in Mallorca. Continue reading

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The Unseen Work of Preparing an Exhibit: An Artist’s Perspective

Fibonacci’s Workshop, watercolor 32″ x 40″ Two exhibits of my work, Oil and Water and Re/Viewing the American Landscapeare currently on view at Blue Water Fine Arts in Port Clyde, Maine. I’ve … Continue reading

American Masterworks From the Corcoran at the National Gallery of Art

I was invited by The National Gallery of Art to give a presentation for the Winslow Homer exhibit with Chief Curator Franklin Kelly and Conservator Janet Walsh. I was also invited by The Corcoran Gallery of Art to give a gallery talk with Bechhoefer Curator of American Art Sarah Cash for the John Singer Sargent exhibit, Sargent and the Sea. I am familiar with both museum collections so it was of particular interest to me to see some of my favorite Corcoran paintings hanging at the National Gallery in a different light. Continue reading

Painting Through Israel: A Different Way of Seeing

I have always traveled with my paints and sketchbook and was fortunate to live in Europe while the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, and then later in Asia as the awardee of a grant from The Henry Luce Foundation. I have books filled with my European and Asian travel drawings and watercolors. Some of them became illustrations for magazines such as The New Yorker, Gourmet, and the New York Times. Continue reading

The Newly Renovated Harvard Art Museums: An Artist’s Perspective

While a graduate student at Harvard University I spent much of my time in the Fogg Art Museum, either visiting the collection or attending art history courses Continue reading

A Unique Way to Celebrate the Arts and Support a Good Cause

I was honored this summer to be invited by Down East Magazine, the magazine of Maine, to be one of their cover artists for Down East Magazine’s 60th anniversary issue. Joining me were artists Alex Katz and William Wegman. Down East invited iconic Maine artists for their 60th anniversary issue. Continue reading

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“The Value and Importance of the Arts and the Humanities in Education and Life” by Barbara Prey on The Huffington Post

  A number of my summer conversations have centered around the importance of the arts and the humanities. I spoke with my friend Dr. Mitchell B. Reiss, the President of … Continue reading

Our First Year: Opening a Gallery

As a member of the National Council on the Arts, the advisory board to the National Endowment for the Arts, creative placemaking has been an important topic, and I feel that I am on the front lines with the gallery. Continue reading

Painting Through Peru

Perched on a Rock Painting Machu PicchuFor many years the New Yorker, the New York Times, Gourmet and other magazines would publish my travel drawings in their magazines. I’ve been to Africa, painted in … Continue reading

The Monuments Men

The story of the “monuments men” is fascinating and truly deserving of the attention it will garner through this film. Irene Rawlings calls it “the greatest treasure hunt in history.” Continue reading

Last Chance for Vermeer, Rembrandt and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Paintings at the Frick Museum

The Frick Museum has been a favorite of mine since I was young. When I had an internship at The Metropolitan Museum after graduating from Williams College, and I wasn’t spending my time sitting on the streets of New York City drawing (which later became artwork for the New Yorker), I would spend my lunch breaks going to the Frick and looking at the collection, which I came to know by heart. Continue reading

Opening Day Art Basel Miami Beach: An Artist’s Perspective

I went down to Art Basel Miami Beach Wednesday for the opening but had to come back because I have an exhibit Saturday. Continue reading

The Importance of Art Conservation: An Artist’s Perspective

I was invited last week to speak at the Williamstown Art Conservation Center and to discuss five Winslow Homer watercolors they are currently restoring. What I like about these presentations is that it affords a wonderful dialogue of different perspectives Continue reading

Last Weeks for Maine Sublime: Frederic Church’s Landscapes of Mount Desert and Mount Katahdin

It is still not too late to see Maine Sublime: Frederic Church’s Landscapes of Mount Desert and Mount Katahdin — a gem of a small exhibit which closes October 27th. Continue reading

A Behind the Scenes Look Into Putting an Exhibit Together: An Artist’s Perspective

Every year for the past thirty, I travel to Maine to paint during the summer where I have an annual exhibit of my paintings. It is different than, say, my New York exhibits, but the same amount of energy goes into the preparation. This year’s show, East Meets West, just opened at Blue Water Fine Arts in Port Clyde, Maine. Continue reading

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The First Expansive Sargent Watercolor Exhibition in Twenty Years: An Artist’s Perspective

It is not too late to see John Singer Sargent Watercolors, the first expansive exhibition of Sargent’s watercolors in twenty years, organized by The Brooklyn Museum, together with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston on view at the Brooklyn Museum through July 28. Continue reading

Back Story: The Rosa Parks Statue

As a member of the National Council on the Arts, the advisory board to the National Endowment for the Arts, I was pleased to read about the recent unveiling of … Continue reading

Not to Be Missed: The Lobkowicz Collection in Prague

This year I returned to visit one of my early paintings commissioned by the Prince Lobkowicz family. It is a portrait of their daughter. Since the time that I painted … Continue reading

Gosling, Guns, and Gangsters

With the upcoming (Jan. 11) release of the all-star-cast film Gangster Squad, I spoke with author Paul Lieberman about the movie and his true-life book that inspired it. Paul had shared the stories and his research a couple of years ago when they first appeared in The Los Angeles Times, where he then was its New York-based culture writer. Paul also wrote the introduction to my book, Reflections. Continue reading

Surviving Sandy: When Art Lifts Spirits and Serves the Community

Three weeks ago, I went to the IFPDA/Print Fair in New York City, the largest international art fair focusing on printmaking. This was right after Sandy, and I had no electricity, heat, phone or Internet, but I knew the electricity north of 34th Street was working so I set out. Continue reading

Painting Outdoors: The Illusion of the Idyllic

As an art history major at Williams College, I worked closely with Lane Faison (one of the three legendary professors of the Williams Art Mafia) and took courses in the Art History Graduate Program at the Clark Art Institute. Continue reading

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My Maine Inspiration: Following in the Footsteps of American Artistic Tradition

Although I grew up in New York and have lived there for many years, I have a summer studio in Maine. Continue reading

An Artist’s Perspective: Arts Education, Schools and the Rewards of Stepping Into the Field

I have always been a staunch believer in the importance of the arts in education and the community, both at home and abroad. In the ’80s, I spent time at a college in Taiwan as a visiting lecturer on Western art, and more recently I led the art program at a summer camp in Croatia for children with Down’s Syndrome and related illnesses. Continue reading

Not to Be Missed Japanese Paintings at the National Gallery of Art

One of Japan’s most celebrated cultural treasures, “Colorful Realm: Japanese Bird-and-Flower Paintings” by Itō Jakuchū (1716-1800) is on view at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., through April 29. Continue reading

National Medal Awards at the White House

I recently attended the National Medal of Arts Awards at the White House. The National Medals are awarded by both The National Endowment for the Arts and The National Endowment for the Humanities. Continue reading

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A Different Look at the New American Wing Galleries: An Artist’s Perspective

I was fortunate to twice preview the new American Wing Galleries for Paintings, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum before the opening. It was a wonderful opportunity to see the art up close and to speak with the curators and chairman about the art. Continue reading

The Real Celebration at the NEA Jazz Masters Awards

This is a memorable event, not only for the opportunity to hear, see and meet some of the living Jazz legends but, also to be part of the group as the Jazz Masters greet another. Continue reading

Art Basel Miami Beach Celebrates 10 Years: An Artist’s Perspective

Overwhelming might be the word to describe my visit to Art Basel Miami Beach and the satellite art fairs. Continue reading

Culture And Colors: An Autumn Sojourn To New England’s Small Museums

Late fall in New England offers some interesting exhibits for the cultural traveler and the last gasp leaf lookers. This fall I began in Maine where I have been painting and exhibiting for over 30 years. Continue reading

NASA Art/50 Years at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum: Perspectives from a NASA Artist

I had a call from NASA to be their artist spokesperson for the opening of NASA Art/50 Years at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Continue reading