Background: Alice Pike Barney (born Alice Pike) was born on January 14, 1857 was an American painter. She was active in Washington, D.C. and worked to make Washington into a center of the arts.
Education: In 1887 she travelled to Paris to be nearer her two daughters while they attended Les Ruches, a French boarding school founded by the feminist educator Marie Souvestre. While there, she studied painting with Carolus-Duran. She returned to Paris in 1896 – bringing her daughter Laura to a French hospital for treatment of leg pain from a childhood injury – and resumed her study with Carolus-Duran as well as taking lessons from the Spanish painter Clauido Casteucho. When James Abbott McNeill Whistler opened an academie, she was one of the first students. Whistler soon lost interest in teaching art and the school shut down, but he was a formative influence.
Achievements: Barney had solo shows at major galleries including the Corcoran Gallery of Art. In later years, she invented and patented mechanical devices, wrote and performed in several plays and an opera,and worked to promote the arts in Washington, D.C. Many of her paintings are now in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.