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Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Barnum was raised in the historic Roanoke-Valentine Road District. Her mother had been a writer and book critic, and her father a baritone with the Chicago Lyric Opera. Although, she credits them with providing the unique background that helped nurture her love of books and music as well as art, she acknowledges that the drive to create was always there. She has always been motivated by an intense curiosity and passion for life.

When asked during an interview why she had chosen to pursue the uncertain life of an artist and writer her answer was charistically direct, intense, “ I'm not sure I had a choice. I don’t remember not creating. Creating is breathing to me. The passion I feel when I’m working and the desire to be able to reach others through my writing and art is a powerful force.”

Barnum’s first professional exhibit was at age fifteen. Recognizing the precocious talent, the Mother Superior at Notre Dame de Sion (high school) hired Vincent Campanella, an art professor for her. At the age of 17 she began medical illustration for acclaimed surgeon Claude Hunt. She completed a number of portrait commissions and murals during her teens and early twenties. For a short period, she attended the Fine Arts School at Kansas University and later studied at the Kansas City Art Institute with Frank V. Szasz, renowned Hungarian painter, to learn chiaroscuro technique. Barnum considers the five years (1965-70) she lived in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, a vital part of her creative experience and studies as an artist and writer.

Winifred Barnum-Newman is internationally recognized as an author and illustrator of her own books as well as an illustrator of the work of others. Two of her books have garnered options for television projects. She has written screen treatments, been published as a poet and created a number of characters for proposals for animated series. Her extensive repertoire includes designing everything from building facades to soft sculpture and producing and writing industrial videos.

Barnum's paintings, bronzes and sculpture are in collections throughout the world. Her work reflects her profound belief in the equality of all people and the essential need to eradicate racism and sexism. Her sculpture and paintings merge both surreal and representative images defining a unique – and ultimately - recognizable style.

Entertainment Arts

Options for Television/Musical:

Gumwrappers and Goggles – optioned for children’s television series/special, Greif/Dore, Los Angeles (Leslie Greif created Walker, Texas Ranger)

TJ Luv, Southwest Airlines mascot is from the book Gumwrappers and Goggles, based on the history of Southwest Airlines

Show Your Spirit (Musical) - adapted from Gumwrappers and Goggles,
Incredible Productions/Sarnoff Entertainment Corp. Barnum had direct involvement in writing, production, and promotion.

Secret in the Garden - optioned for ninety minute drama, Paradigm Entertainment

Screen Treatments:

So Funny It Hurts
The Miller Sisters

Paintings and Sculpture


Kansas City, MO
Long Island, NY
Los Angeles, CA
New Orleans, LA
San Antonio, TX
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Wichita, KS


Galeria Ortiz, San Antonio, TX
Private collections

Writing and Illustration

For illustration work including trade books, text books, magazines, etc. please contact:

Portfolio Solutions, LLC

TEL: (845)266-1001

Books written and illustrated by Winifred Barnum-Newman:

Gumwrappers and Goggles – based on the history of Southwest Airlines, was made into a full-scale musical produced by Sarnoff Entertainment (TJ Luv, Southwest’s jet-plane mascot, is from the book

The Secret in the Garden – published in English, French, Russian, Braille; winner of the International Angel Award (1980-81) for text and illustration; included in the National Teachers of English Book List (1981)

Spotlessly Leopard – published in English, German, Braille

Publishers (illustration and/or writing):

Baha’I Publishing Trust
Bellwood Press
Carus Publications
Modern Curriculum
Simon & Schuster
(complete list upon request)