Thomas Barrett, Jr. - Painting and Printmaking
Thomas Weeks Barrett, Jr., was born in Poughkeepsie in 1902. He attended Poughkeepsie schools and somewhere between the city and his grandfather’s farm outside of town, he discovered his love for art. After graduating from the art school of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Barrett worked in NYC as a commercial artist in the exciting climate of the 1920s.
However, it was the hard times of the Depression that made Barrett an important figure in Poughkeepsie. After the Crash of 1929, Barrett returned to his family home in Poughkeepsie and set up shop in a studio on the 3rd floor.
The popular response to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s unprecedented governmental support for the arts inspired Barrett to organize Dutchess County’s first art exhibition in 1934 at the Luckey Platt Department Store in Poughkeepsie. Over 2,000 visitors attended on the opening day. Buoyed by the show’s success, Barrett and his colleagues founded the Dutchess County Art Association in 1935. Today, that organization operates as the Barrett Art Center.