Artwork Information

  • Title:

    Dream, The

  • Artist:

    Barnet, Will

  • Artist Bio:

    American, 1911–2012

  • Date:

    2002

  • Medium:

    Color lithograph

  • Dimensions:

    24 1/4 x 16 inches

  • Credit Line:

    Wichita Art Museum, Gift of Barry Wayne Bradley in memory of Patricia Ann Brace

  • Object Number:

    2005.14.3

  • Display:

    Not Currently on Display


About the Artwork

In 1990, Barnet began a series of works featuring his sister, Eva. 11 years older than Barnet, Eva was the artist’s last surviving sibling. She lived alone in Barnet’s childhood home in Beverly, Massachusetts, following the death of another sister, Jeannette. On one visit, Barnet encountered Eva wandering the old house’s hallways and hallucinating the presence of dead family members. For Barnet, the incident was troubling but also strangely revealing. As one critic noted, aren’t all humans haunted by “the bitterness of loss, the starkness of a past that can never be recovered?”

In The Dream—a print based on a 1990 painting of the same name—Eva stands at a window in the family home. The window sash bisects her thin, ghostly face. Crows circling in the sky are reflected in the glass. The image is deeply unsettling but perhaps also hopeful. For Barnet, crows are not symbols of death or danger. Instead, they represent creativity and freedom. Who and what does Eva see?