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Landscape artist Barry Vance was born April 13, 1946 in Baltimore, Maryland. He earned a BFA at Pratt Institute and an MFA at Brooklyn College. He also attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and the Art Students League of New York. Following his education he maintained a studio in New York City, worked at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, taught at Pratt Institute, and was a founding member of The First Street Gallery.

In 1971 he began spending summers painting in the Shenandoah Valley and along the headwaters of the Potomac highlands of Virginia and West Virginia. In 1976 he moved permanently to the area. Vance’s ancestors had settled in this same region of the mid-Atlantic Appalachians in 1735; building their homestead along the banks of Opequon Creek, they were members of the first Scotch-Irish Presbyterian community west of the Blue Ridge. Throughout Vance’s youth, his family often returned to visit with relatives in Romney and at the Vance farm in Hampshire County.

Vance paints with oil colors on hardwood panels with careful and precise delineation. According to art critic Jed Perl, “Vance’s attitude toward art and the natural world may be similar to that of nineteenth century landscapists like Cotman and Diaz; but Vance in West Virginia is no less a serious, conscious artist than Cotman in Normandy or Diaz in Fontainebleau.”

Vance’s paintings have been included in exhibitions at major museums including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the National Museum of American Art, Roanoke Fine Arts Center, the Butler Institute of American Art, Huntington Museum of Art, Sunrise Museum, and the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley. His paintings are in the permanent collection of the Huntington Museum of Art, University of Kentucky Art Museum, Mitchell Museum, Parkersburg Art Center, Juliet Art Museum, the Maryland Historical Society, West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley.

This Article was written by Colleen Anderson

Last Revised on February 26, 2019


Cite This Article

Anderson, Colleen "Barry Vance." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 26 February 2019. Web. 14 November 2019.

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