Photographs, Word & Image Department, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, United Kingdom
Martin Barnes is Senior Curator of Photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum, (V&A) London, which he joined in 1995. Founded in 1852, the V&A is one of the world's greatest museums of art and design and is home to the UK's National Collection of the Art of Photography. The collection is international in scope and is continually growing. It includes works by the leading practitioners of every generation, as well as established and emerging contemporary photographers. The Museum stages major exhibitions, which tour internationally, as well as temporary displays from its permanent collections.
Martin has curated numerous UK and international touring exhibitions, with accompanying publications, including, Aspects of Architecture; Where Are We?: Questions of Landscape and Something That I'll Never Really See; Contemporary Photography from the V&A, and was the V&A curator for the exhibitions, Diane Arbus Revelations (2005-6); Twilight: Photography in the Magic Hour (2006); Shadow Catchers: Camera-less Photography (2010) and Figures and Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography (2011). He is currently working on an exhibition of early photographs of India and Burma by Linnaeus Tripe and a major retrospective of Paul Strand. He was the editor of Talking Photography, a catalogue of the audio and visual collections of the British Library National Sound Archive, where he is an interviewer for the Oral History of British Photography project. He has written articles and essays on various contemporary photographers for publications and journals including Aperture and Portfolio, entries for The Folio Society Book of the 100 Greatest Photographs (2006) and the Encyclopaedia of Nineteenth Century Photography (2007) and has contributed to international exhibition catalogues on the role of photography in the Pre-Raphaelite and Arts and Crafts Movements.
As a portfolio reviewer, Martin is able to offer a curator's perspective and give advice on promoting work in Britain and producing museum quality photographs. He is interested in all types of creative and innovative photography that is well thought-out, edited and presented, and also in discussing ideas for projects that may not yet be completed. He is less interested in reviewing photographs that seek to validate themselves by emulating the greats of the past or that use historic processes without a conceptual reason.