Will Barnet was born in Beverly, Massachusetts, and studied at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School, Massachusetts, and the Art Students League in New York City. He later taught art at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut; Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; and the Art Students League. A prolific graphic artist, Barnet changed his style significantly at different points in his career. His earliest works were influenced by expressionism; they were followed by abstract works in the 1950s and 1960s, and finally evolved into more figurative works of silhouetted forms set against geometrically designed backgrounds. Barnet has worked in most print media and is recognized for his command of all techniques. His work has been exhibited in prominent museums and galleries in the United States and Canada and is included in many prestigious collections, including those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum, both in New York City, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Massachusetts.