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** SOLD ** – “Freedom Flight” – Painting by Barbara Barry Thompson (Babah Hanson)

Last updated on March 20, 2021


LARGE 48″ x 24” PAINTING: Ocean Scene with seagull.

Artist: Painted in 1972 by Barbara Barry Thompson, aka Babah Hanson, mother of actress Lea Thompson. Read more complete information about this accomplished artist, below.

The Story behind this painting: Barbara Barry Thompson told the story to this exceptional painting in this July 20th 2008 interview archived in the Daily Inter Lake newspaper of Kalispell, Montana, titled “Painting a Life” –

“Babah said her proudest sale was a seagull painting called “Freedom Flight” to Richard Bach, the author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a favorite book of Babah’s. She remembers the letter she received from the author.
“I’ve seen plenty of seagulls in two years but never any so light and lovely as yours,” he wrote. “Is it for sale?”
Bach followed that with a phone call in which they arrived at a deal. He told her that hers was the first painting that he had ever purchased.”

Reference: Daily Interlake Article

This painting originally hung in Richard Bach’s Winter Haven, Florida home in the mid 1970’s. It was taken down after he sold the property and was stored for approximately 30 years.

More about the Artist:
Barbara Barry Thompson, also known in later life as ‘Babah Hanson’, was an accomplished American artist and musician.

Born in 1927, she received a formal education at the Rhode Island School of Design, and went on to live in many parts of the United States, including Rhode Island, Hawaii, Arizona, Minnesota, California & Montana. Her varied works reflected the impact of the vibrant cultures and landscapes in which she lived.

Ms Thompson’s artworks were signed differently as her life progressed, and signatures on her paintings included: Barry, Barbara, Barbara T., Barry Thompson, Barbara Barry, Barbara Barry Thompson, Barbara Barry Hanson, Barbara Hanson, Babah Hanson, Baba, Baba Barry, and, simply, Babah.

Examples of her paintings and sculptures are coveted by private collectors throughout the United States.

Barbara Barry Thompson, Babah Hanson, passed away on July 20th, 2017.
More information about this wonderful artist, and examples of her other work, can be found on her website (now curated by one of her daughters) at http://babahsart.com

Other Information: This painting contains a note on the back, reading ~

“From J.L.S. – “Freedom Flight”. This painting was created with acrylic media. To clean use only damp cloth and mild soap. Do not us solvent cleaners. Minneapolis, Rochester, Minnesota. Barbara Barry Thompson”

Why the “J.L.S.” initials in the note on the back? As explained above – apparently Ms Thompson was a fan of the book “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” by author Richard Bach, and this painting was done as a representation of the intrepid seagull in that story.

This is an especially unique piece of Richard Bach memorabilia.

Condition: Painted onto lightweight hard art board (not canvas). Colors are still vibrant and the painting itself is in good condition. Backing paper is brittle and is tearing from age and some tearing of that paper occurred after these photos were taken, will probably need replacing at some point. Mounted in a deep-set black wooden frame as shown.

Size: 48″ W x 24” H (4 feet wide).


“I’ve seen plenty of seagulls in two years but never any so light and lovely as yours,”
~ Richard Bach, in a letter to Barbara Barry Thompson, prior to his purchase of the painting, about 1972.
Note fixed to the back of the painting.

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