Press Release: Faces & Phases

Historical Society of Woodstock Press Release, Oct. 1, 2017

Contact the Historical Society of Woodstock via Olivia Twine, or 845-706-0540.

If a Picture Paints a Thousand Words, What About a Painted Face?

The Historical Society of Woodstock presents “Faces and Phases,” an exhibition of paintings and hand-painted mannequins by artist Barbara Graff, on display Saturdays and Sundays from 1 – 5 PM, October 7 - 29 at the historic Eames House (20 Comeau Drive, Woodstock, NY 12498). The Opening Reception, Saturday, October 7th from 2 - 4 PM, will feature musical performances by Master Michael Quinn & Jeff Allyn Szwast, and Danielle Cardona & Martin Luque. Admission is free.

This display of life-sized mannequins and oil paintings represents women in all stages of aging, arranged within a mysterious world of dark forests, twisted tree roots, forgotten slippers and the changing night sky. Men appear as memories or shadows. Time presides over all. The creator of this environment, Barbara Graff, was raised in the Catskills near Woodstock. After building a career in New York City, she returned to the Hudson Valley to create a studio in the natural environment that inspires her work. Masks play an important role in Graff's paintings and reveal her fascination with the human face. The variety of media and texture she uses is attributed to years of experience in the fashion display industry, where Graff earned a reputation as one of the world's most sought-after oil paint “make-up” artists for mannequins.

The artist states: “The nature paintings are a search for, and celebration of, the beauty of the earth. .. This outer world connects with the viewer's inner world and they become one. The paintings allow the viewer to look beyond appearance and locate within themselves the acute awareness of an inner truth.

The portrait paintings are part of a series of feminine figures that represent a search for autonomy. Many of them are veiled. Beyond facades of masks (including beauty), the paintings maintain there is a soul in some stage of development. The development is one we all experience: the struggle for self-discovery and, ultimately, actualization.”

The artist, Barbara Graff, may be reached by calling 845-564-7746 or by email:

For information about events at the Historical Society of Woodstock, see or visit us on Facebook at Historical Woodstock.++
Letitia Smith,
Jun 26, 2017, 6:58 AM