A Film Tribute to Barbara Denyer, A Remarkable Artist and Irvington Icon

by The Irvington Historical Society

Barbara Denyer, a long-time resident of Irvington, was a uniquely original artist and an extraordinary woman.  Born in Austin Texas in 1925, she studied at the University of Texas, Austin, and at the Art Student’s League in New York City.  Her interests were wide-ranging.  She was involved in the anti-war movement from the 1960’s onwards, cared deeply about ethical issues and was a long-long vegetarian, inspired by Mahatma Gandhi.

“For almost half of her 95 years, Barbara Denyer built, sculpted and painted over 45 works made from curious objects found, collected and meticulously hand-crafted.  Her three-dimensional pieces are inextricable facts of her larger work – her home – an 1860’s Victorian coach house tucked within the quiet neighborhood of Dows Lane in Irvington.  Here, where she lived and raised her family, Denyer created a personal, highly curated, museum-like realm.  Themes and materials intermingle in miniature environments, dioramas, alters, triptychs and sculptures. 

With wit and complexity of thought, qualities Denyer possessed and shared freely, the work is her unique commentary on politics, religion, sexuality, morality, femininity, history and the quirks and contradictions of human existence.  Each room embodies and amplifies the whole, carrying its own element of the larger vision.  As artist and keeper of the experience, Denyer was also a central figure.  She appears, as if part of a performance piece, wearing examples of the unique clothing she was known to don throughout her life.”  See https://barbaradenyer.com/   

Filmmaker and HIS Board Member Nader Sadre has created this fitting tribute to her remarkable life and contributions to our Village.