Three of American Artist Barbara Ernst Prey’s iconic paintings are on exhibit this December at The United Nations. The U.S. Mission to the United Nations requested Gallantly Streaming I, Parade Route, and Patriot, part of Prey’s 9/11 series for the exhibit at the Presidency Office of the United Nations Security Council. Gallantly Streaming I was previously on view at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid as part of the U.S. State Department’s Art in Embassies program and in the office of the Governor of New York. “I am honored that my paintings from my “9/11 series” were selected for exhibit at the United Nations Security Council. The flags are metaphors for a difficult time and remind us of the importance of working together at an international level.”
Prey’s paintings have been exhibited at United States Embassies worldwide including Paris, Madrid, Oslo, Prague, Hong Kong, Minsk and Mali. Her prints are exhibited at over 100 U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide including: Prague, Seoul, Baghdad, Abu Dhabi, Bogotá, Mexico City, Athens, Cairo and Rangoon. The U.S. State Department selected Prey’s painting The Collection as the July 4th invitation image for every Ambassador and Embassy worldwide. She was to spearhead a lecture series in Prague, Paris and Madrid highlighting the arts exhibit in the Embassies. The Arts in Embassies Program presents the works of influential American artists to a broad, international audience.
Prey is one of America’s most renowned landscape painters, best known for her innovative, large-scale watercolors which engage the American Landscape through a 21st Century lens. She was appointed by the President of the United States to serve on the National Council on the Arts, the advisory board of the National Endowment for the Arts. Members are elected for their established record of distinguished service or achievement in the arts. She was invited by The President and First Lady to paint the official White House Christmas card.
Her paintings are included in some of the most important public and private collections around the world including The White House, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Brooklyn Museum, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Williams College Museum of Art, Hood Museum of Art Dartmouth College, The Taiwan Museum of Art, New York Historical Society, the Henry Luce Foundation, and The Reader’s Digest Collection. Her work is owned by private collectors including President and Mrs. George W. Bush, Nobel Laureate Dr. and Mrs. James Watson, Ambassador and Mrs. Craig Stapleton, Prince and Princess Johannes Lobkowicz, Orlando Bloom and Tom Hanks. As a spokesperson for American Art, she was invited to lecture at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. for the Winslow Homer exhibit, at the Corcoran Gallery of Art for the John Singer Sargent exhibit, at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid on American Art and at Dartmouth College.
Prey is the recipient of many honors and awards including the New York State Senate Women of Distinction Award. A graduate of Williams College with a master’s degree from Harvard, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and a grant from The Henry Luce Foundation. She is Adjunct Faculty at Williams College.
The Heckscher Museum in New York honored Prey with their “Celebrate Achievement Award” for her accomplishments and contributions to American art and culture. Heckscher Museum Director Michael Schantz said, “Barbara Ernst Prey [is] one of America’s most gifted watercolorists…Barbara’s flawless technique ranks her among the most important artists who ever painted in the medium.” Sarah Cash, National Gallery of Art Curator, writes, “Among the foremost artists at work in the United States today, Barbara Ernst Prey has painted powerful, vibrant views of her surroundings for nearly forty years. The artist continues to take the watercolor medium, which has an august role in the history of American art, to innovative places. The New York Times writes, “Prey is going where artists Rauschenberg and Warhol have gone before.”
Prey was recently honored when NASA commissioned her to paint four paintings for their collection. The x-43, the fastest aircraft in the world, included in the Smithsonian Institution’s Traveling Museum Exhibit NASA|ART: 50 Years was on exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. NASA invited her to be the artist spokesperson for the exhibit and she was featured on The CBS Evening News. Her other NASA commissions include: The Columbia Tribute, to commemorate the anniversary of the Columbia tragedy; the International Space Station, which is on exhibit with her painting of the Columbia Tribute at the Kennedy Space Center; and the Shuttle Discovery: Return to Flight. Prey joins an elite group of American artists who have been invited by NASA to document the history of space exploration including Norman Rockwell and Robert Rauschenberg.