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A little about Peter Barberie at ONWARD Blog — Juried Photography Competition by Project Basho

ONWARD Blog — Juried Photography Competition by Project Basho

A Journey for Emerging Photographers

A little about Peter Barberie

without comments

Peter Barberie at Project Basho Gallery

Peter Barberie at Project Basho Gallery

Reporting from Project Basho headquarters!

We have done a modest interview with Peter Barberie to share with you.  He is this year’s juror for our ONWARD competition and is noted for his exhibition Looking at Atget (2005) and Dreaming in Black and White: Photography (2006) at the Julien Levy Gallery.  Peter Barberie was recently appointed as the Curator of Photographs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  As a prominent figure in the Art community of Philadelphia, we are interested in some of Peter Barberie’s roots, influences, and current projects.

1.  When and how did you find yourself specifically interested in art history and photography?

As a kid, I always loved museums and wanted to work in them. In college at the University of Connecticut, I majored in art history, planning to specialize either in Italian Renaissance Art or American history and material culture. But then I fell in love with modernist art and all the avant-garde movements of the 20th century. I especially loved photography because it disrupted all the established artistic categories. I also benefited from an amazing professor, the well-known photographer William E. Parker, who lectured passionately on the history of photography.

2.  What are the motifs and themes that move you the most?

I love cities, and I think photography and film are the quintessential mediums to capture the mood and tempo of modern urban life.

3.  As the newly appointed curator of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, what do you have in mind for developing the photography and print collection?

I want to collect the best contemporary work being made internationally; I want to acquire key works of early Philadelphia photography from before 1870; I want our holdings in modernist photography to compare with the Museum’s extraordinary collections of modernist painting, prints, and sculptures.

4. Do you have any personal inspirations that influence you as a curator?

There are a number of curators whose work I follow. One of my favorites is right here in town: Ingrid Schaffner at The Institute of Contemporary Art has produced a string of wonderful exhibitions of contemporary and earlier 20th century art. Often she identifies a key but obscure thread running through a well-known topic, and brilliantly demonstrates it in an exhibition. Her recent puppetry show is a great example. At their best, exhibitions are brilliant visual arguments.

5.  Are there any curatorial projects you are working on at the moment?

I have been on the job for a month, and I am putting together a comprehensive exhibition program for the next 5-7 years. In the near future, I plan an installation of Daido Moriyama’s photographs of Tokyo from the 1980s, to be followed by a small survey of experimental Philadelphia photography from the 1960s and ’70s, including work by Ray Metzker, Sol Mednick, Will Larson and others.

6.  Will you reflect some on the Philadelphia photography scene in the context of contemporary ideas in art and photography and discuss your role in the local photography community.

Philadelphia has a vibrant photography community, both in terms of students and of mature artists. My job is to bring the best work from around the world for that community to see, and also to identify the strongest work being made in this city, and bring it into the collection and before the broad audience that comes to the PMA.

Written by estelle

November 9th, 2008 at 6:23 pm

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