|Place of Birth||Davenport, IA, USA|
|Place of Death||Bradenton Beach, FL, USA|
|Birth Name||Barbara Neustadt|
Barbara Neustadt was born in Davenport, Iowa, the only child of Cora and David Neustadt, who worked as a menswear retailer.1 The family moved periodically, and she spent her early childhood in New York City and later in Decatur, Illinois, before going to high school at the National Cathedral School in Washington, DC. She matriculated to Smith College, where she majored in art history in 1944.2 Back in the Midwest, Neustadt pursued a career in advertising while also taking classes at the School of the Art Institute (1945-46), the American Academy of Art (1945-46), and University of Chicago (1947-48). Eventually, she decided to dedicate herself to painting, entering canvases to the Ohio Valley Oil and Water Color Shows. Filing for divorce in 1951 from her first husband precipitated several positive developments in Neustadt’s professional life. After a winter in California and accepted entries into two west coast group shows, Neustadt returned to the Midwest to take classes with Ben Shahn and Arnold Blanch at the School of Fine Arts in Athens, Ohio. Blanch arranged for a scholarship to the Woodstock Art Students League in Woodstock, New York, in summer 1952, and it is there Neustadt first had access to the graphic arts and fell in love with lithography. After the summer, she moved down to New York City and immersed herself in the local printmaking community. She worked at Robert Blackburn’s lithography workshop and The Contemporaries, Margaret Lowengrund’s workshop. Sometime before Atelier 17 closed in 1955, she also tried her hand at intaglio printmaking, working with Leo Katz.3 Although the catalogue raisonné of her prints suggests otherwise, it is most likely that she created and printed Chevalier de la Morte (1953) at Atelier 17, a print that earned her an honorable mention commendation at the Society of American Graphic Artists’ thirty-eighth Annual in 1954.4 Throughout her lifetime, she devoted her creative energies to printmaking, not only working individually on her own editions but also encouraging other artists by founding the Studio Graphics Workshop in 1967 in Woodstock, New York, and later Pleiades Press in 1980 in Bradenton, Florida.
“Barbara Neustadt Wins First Place in 1938 Review Story Context.” The Decatur Daily Review. December 11, 1938.
Kipling, Kay. The Work of Barbara Neustadt. Florida: Pleiades, 1993.
“Polished Abstract Etchings.” The Kingston Daily Freeman. April 29, 1973.
“‘Print Renaissance’ in a Workshop.” The Kingston Daily Freeman. September 12, 1970.
- Biographical information comes from Kay Kipling, The Work of Barbara Neustadt (Florida: Pleiades Press, 1993). ↩
- According to Smith College’s registrar’s office, Neustadt accelerated her coursework—which students could do during the war—and received her degree in December 1943, though she is part of the Class of 1944. Patricia Albertson, Office of the Registrar, Smith College, email to Christina Weyl, May 2, 2017. ↩
- In a self-written text, “Commentary on Process” in her monograph, Neustadt says she worked with Alex Katz at Atelier 17. Clearly she meant Leo Katz. Kipling, The Work of Barbara Neustadt, 33. ↩
- The entry for Chevalier de la Morte (No. 49) suggests the print was done at The Contemporaries, not Atelier 17. It is possible Joyous Procession (No. 51) was also done at Atelier 17, but the next sequential print, Beggar’s Song (No. 50) was not completed until 1956, long after Atelier 17 closed. See Kipling, The Work of Barbara Neustadt, 58. ↩