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 Barry Faulkner  (1881 - 1966)

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Lived/Active: New York/New Hampshire      Known for: mural, genre and landscape painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A muralist and painter, Barry Faulkner was born in Keene, New Hampshire and had strong ties to the artist colony in Dublin, New Hampshire because he was a cousin and also a student of Abbott Thayer.  He also spent time in Cornish, which he came to know through friendship with the Saint-Gaudens family, having gone to school at Harvard and served in the Camouflage Corps with Homer during World War I.  Several times he even worked in the studio with Augustus Saint-Gaudens and often boarded with Mr. and Mrs. George Ruggles and used his studio.

As a young man, Faulkner had dreams of becoming an artist.  He studied at Phillips Exeter Academy, Harvard University, and the American Academy in Rome where in 1907, he began study on a three-year scholarship.  In New York City, he took painting lessons from George deForest Brush and Abbot Handerson Thayer.  

During his time in Italy, he received his first mural commission, and this began a career which brought him much recognition including the receipt of a medal from the Architectural League of New York and membership in the National Academy of Design.

With the assistance of Cliff Young, he did murals for the National Archives building in Washington DC, for the Cheshire County Savings Bank in Keene, New Hampshire; the RCA Building of Rockefeller Center in New York City; the John Hancock Building in Boston; and the state capitols of New Hampshire and Oregon.  The Rockefeller mural, installed in 1933 at the loggia over the building entrance at 1250 Avenue of the Americas, is a mosaic, 79 feet in length.  Titled Intelligence Awakening Mankind, the theme of the work is intelligence conquering ignorance.

His mural, The Childhood of Daniel Webster, is at the statehouse in Concord, New Hampshire, and the study for the mosaic Faulkner did for the RCA Building, Intelligence Awakening Mankind, was donated in 2002 to the Historical Society of Cheshire County by personnel of the Cheshire Medical Center.  Faulkner also completed the unfinished murals of Allyn Cox, the son of Kenyon Cox, at the nation's capitol when Cox retired in 1981 at age eighty-five.  In 1937 and 1938, Faulkner executed murals for the Oregon State Capitol building.

Sources include:
Virginia Reed Colby & James B. Atkinson, Footprints of the Past
Peter Falk, Who Was Who in American Art
Editor, "Steps to Great Art: Barry Faulkner and the Art of the Muralist", Historical Society of Cheshire County newsletter,  Spring 2006. Courtesy Alma Gilbert-Smith
Christine Roussel, The Guide to the Art of Rockefeller Center

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at

Barry Faulkner is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Cornish Colony

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