Alice Pike Barney

ID: 96-1367

Creator: Unknown

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: c.1906-1907

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives Record Unit 371, Box 2, Folder March 1978

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  • Alice Pike Barney (1857-1931) photographed in the Barney Studio House, Washington, D.C., with her pastel portrait of James Abbott McNeill Whistler. The photograph was seen in "Alice Pike Barney and Her Friends," an exhibition at the National Collection of Fine Arts, now the Smithsonian American Art Museum, January 20, 1978 through May 21, 1978.
  • Alice Pike Barney (1857-1931), art patron and painter, is best remembered for her efforts to transform Washington, D.C., into the nation's cultural capital during the first quarter of the twentieth century. Alice Pike Barney's home during her residence in Washington, The Barney Studio House, by architect Waddy B. Wood, provided a gathering place for the District's fledgling artists' community. There Barney entertained the likes of Franklin Roosevelt, Sarah Bernhardt, President Taft, and visiting avant-garde artists with elaborate performances of her countless plays, mime dramas, ballets, and musical productions. Barney convinced Congress to fund the building of the National Sylvan Theater on the grounds of the Washington Monument in 1916.
  • Alice's daughters, Natalie Pike Barney (1876-1972), and Laura Clifford Dreyfuss-Barney (1879-1974), gave Studio House to the Smithsonian Institution for use as an arts and cultural center. The building initially housed offices and visiting scholars and guests. After renovation in 1980, Studio House was opened to the public for tours and entertainment events, including restagings of several of Alice Barney's plays. In March 1995, the Smithsonian approved the sale of Barney Studio House, the proceeds to go toward the endowment fund for its Smithsonian American Art Museum.


  • Barney, Alice Pike 1857-1931
  • Whistler, James McNeill 1834-1903
  • Barney Studio House (Washington, D.C.)


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


Torch March 1978

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives Record Unit 371, Box 2, Folder March 1978

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,



Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Women
  • Art
  • Exhibitions
  • Artists
  • Art--Exhibitions


  • Photographic print
  • Person, candid

ID Number


Physical description

Color: Black and White; Size: 8w x 10h; Type of Image: Person, candid; Medium: Photographic print

Full Record

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