Maine artist makes what may be the world’s largest watercolor

PORTLAND PRESS HERALD —Barbara Prey has a golden resume: a bachelor’s degree from Williams College, a master’s from Harvard and a Fulbright scholarship, which she used to study baroque art and architecture in Germany. One of her first jobs was drawing illustrations for the New Yorker. Continue reading

Boston Globe Features Barbara’s Exhibition

“New Works: Meditations on the Environment,” Prey’s exhibit of 40 watercolors, dry-brush, and oil paintings of the Berkshires and more. Daily 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. through Sept. 1. Free. Barbara Prey Gallery, 71 Spring St., Williamstown. 413-884-6184. Continue reading

The Art Newspaper

Comings and Goings

Watercolour artist Barbara Ernst Prey has been confirmed by the US Senate to serve for a six-year term on the National Council on the Arts, the advisory body of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Continue reading


Portrait of Speed

A painting by Barbara Ernst Prey of Oyster Bay is part of “NASA | ART: 50 Years of Exploration,” a traveling exhibit marking the space agency’s 50th anniversary. The artist, who grew up in Manhasset, talked with Newsday about her career and the paintings she’s done during the past 35 years. Continue reading


Artist Barbara Prey to Serve on National Council on the Arts

Artist Barbara Ernst Prey has been confirmed by the US Senate to serve on the National Council on the Arts, an advisory body of the National Endowment for the Arts. The confirmation follows her nomination by President Bush to serve on the council. Continue reading

More Magazine

Where a Painter Travels for a Visual Feast

Barbara Ernst Prey, 51, is best known for her American landscapes, but she gets ideas from all over the world. “I’m never really on vacation,” the Long Island native says, “I’m always looking.” Continue reading


Visions of Long Island, All Over the Map

From an 1875 oil painting of Target Rock, the historic boulder just off a beach in Lloyd Neck, to a couple of moody seascapes painted only last year, the new exhibit at Huntington’s Heckscher Museum spans two centuries of artists’ visions of Long Island.
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Harvard Magazine

Gallery High Art

Since its founding, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has commissioned artists to depict explorations of the upper atmosphere and of space. Norman Rockwell, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, and Annie Leibovitz are among those who’ve done so. Another is Barbara Ernst Prey, M.Div. ’86, who has painted four watercolors for NASA since 2003. Continue reading

The New York Times

Artist Shooting for the Stars

As an official portrait artist for NASA, Barbara Ernst Prey has paid tribute to the space shuttle Columbia, traveled to the Mojave Desert to capture the X-43 in flight and constructed her own model of a space station that wasn’t built yet, the better to imagine what it would look like. Continue reading

Distinction Magazine

2005 March Women of Distinction

It’s hard not to name-drop when talking about Barbara Ernst Prey and her work as a watercolor artist. Born in Manhasset, Prey has fond memories of sailing on Manhasset Bay. Now living in Oyster Bay, she is inspired by its working waterfront and rustic old barns. Continue reading

The New Yorker

The Talk of the Town

Longtime recipients of the annual Prey family Christmas card – fellow parishioners of the First Presbyterian Church in Oyster Bay, Long Island; summer residents in Tenant’s Harbor, Maine; the United States Ambassador to the Czech Republic – may have noticed something familiar about this year’s edition. Continue reading

Los Angeles Times

Painter Seeing a Bigger Picture

PORT CLYDE, Maine — It should have been a summer of normalcy and rest, if not self-congratulations, for Barbara Ernst Prey. She made her usual trek from her main home on Long Island to the peninsula here where over the last three decades she has developed her skills as a watercolorist specializing in bright, uncluttered paintings of the sort of elemental objects — fishing boats, wildflowers, robust Maine houses — that have long attracted artists to these parts. Continue reading

The Associated Press

Artist Fulfills New Mission of NASA

Until December, artist Barbara Prey’s best known works were watercolors of scenes in rural Maine – rowboats, farmhouses and ocean views. Then President Bush sent out a Christmas card featuring one of her paintings that was seen by more than a million people worldwide. Continue reading

The Boston Globe

Artist Reaches New Heights
PICTURE THIS It was an honor, but a bit daunting as well, says Barbara Ernst Prey of her commission from NASA. The artist, a New York native who summers in Maine, was asked to do the official portrait of the Space Shuttle Columbia, which disintegrated during reentry a year ago. (Other painters who’ve worked for the space agency include Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol.) Continue reading


Trace of Terror on Canvas

Oyster Bay artist Barbara Ernst Prey was crossing the Throgs Neck Bridge on Sept. 11, 2001, listening to the car radio, when she both heard and saw the unforgettable: “I was hearing the news as it was breaking, and I have this vivid image of seeing the towers on fire,” she recalled recently. “I just remember the smoke going across to Brooklyn.” Continue reading

The New York Times

Painting a Still Life that Moves at 17,000 M.P.H

The Celestron telescope that hulks, out of place and outnumbered by mahogany antiques, in the dining room corner was a whimsical Christmas gift from her to her family three years back. Until now, along with an unpublished astronomy book that her grandfather wrote, it represented the artist Barbara Ernst Prey’s karmic relationship to outer space. But no more. Continue reading