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Alumnae Achievement Awards 1996

Barbara Swan Fink '43
Portraitist
Teacher

Barbara Swan Fink, a Boston artist with works displayed in numerous prominent museums and galleries, graduated from Wellesley College in 1943. She studied painting at the Museum of Fine Arts from 1943 until 1948. Swan received the Albert Whiting Traveling Fellowship from the MFA in 1948, and this fellowship allowed her the freedom to live and work in France for two years. In France, she met her husband Alan Fink, who opened the Alpha Gallery in Boston when they returned to the United States.

In 1961, Swan received a grant from the Radcliffe Institute of Independent Study, which provided money for gifted women to continue their work while managing domestic duties. Through this program, Swan developed friendships with other creative women, such as poets Anne Sexton and Maxine Kumin. In fact, her pen and ink drawings can be found in Anne Sexton’s Transformations and Maxine Kumin’s Up Country, both of which have won Pulitzer Prizes.

Swan’s portraits and still-life paintings, whether oil on canvas or pen and ink on paper, reflect the depth and essence of her subjects. Her work is displayed in permanent collections at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Fogg Art Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as other museums and galleries across the United States.

Barbara Swan Fink died at the age of 80 in 2003.



For more information about the Alumnae Achievement Awards, please contact us by email at specialprograms@alum.wellesley.edu or call the Alumnae Association at 781-283-2331.