ALBERT W. BARKER (1874-1947)
Albert Barker was born on June 1, 1874, in Chicago, Illinois. His first formal education was at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts from 1890 to 1895. While at the academy he met his future wife, Bess Morot. His preference was for charcoal drawing, and the medium suited him, as he was partially colorblind. Barker was an instructor at the School of Industrial Art in Philadelphia between 1903 and 1913. Because of his interest in the classics and archaeology, in 1921 he received a Ph.D. in Greek archaeology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Barker became interested in printmaking--first trying his hand at etching, but he was not happy with the technique. In 1926 he began collecting nineteenth-century French lithographs and producing his own. Lithography suited his drawing style, and he produced a number of remarkable images. His favorite subjects were the farms and craftsmen working in rural Pennsylvania. In 1927 he studied with Bolton Brown, the master lithographer of the day, who was an advocate of the artist printing his own work. Barker wrote many essays and articles on the technique of lithography and in 1930 he published Lithography for Artists.
Because he was concerned with the loss of farmland and early farm equipment, he tried to record the history of farming in southeastern Pennsylvania. Many of his images came from his own farm in Rose Valley. He left a collection of prints and charcoals showing farm life as it existed during his lifetime. Barker died on December 5, 1947.
Submitted in September of 2006 by G. William Haas.
The Old Print Shop, New York City