Artwork Information

  • Title:

    Woman and Cats

  • Artist:

    Barnet, Will

  • Artist Bio:

    American, 1911–2012

  • Date:


  • Medium:

    Color lithograph

  • Dimensions:

    21 x 22 1/2 inches

  • Credit Line:

    Wichita Art Museum, Bequest of Glenn L. and Jayne Seydell Milburn

  • Object Number:


  • Display:

    Not Currently on Display

About the Artwork

Woman and Cats features one of Barnet’s classic subjects, a solitary woman with her pets. Depicting Barnet’s wife, Elena, the work is strikingly intimate and sensual. Elena leans back, eyes closed, holding one cat while another nestles against her knees. The work is made of up of a series of sinuous, curving lines—the sweep of Elena’s shoulders, back, and profile mimic the curving bodies of the family cats. Barnet caught his wife in a moment of solitary reverie—perhaps as she is falling asleep or beginning to wake up.

Barnet depicts Elena as both herself and as a more general symbol of love and desire. Posed against a blank background and wearing a loose, unstructured robe, Elena is not linked by pictorial details to a specific time or place. She could as easily be in another country or era rather than her home in the mid-20th century.