The Old Print Shop

Albert W. Barker


Albert Winslow Barker, printmaker, draughtsman, and educator, was born on 1 June 1874 in Chicago, Illinois.  His early education was provided through home study and his first formal education was at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts from 1890 to 1895. Barker was colorblind so he turned to charcoal drawing which offered its own rich range of "color." In 1993, the Academy sent two of his charcoal drawings to the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

Barker was an instructor at the School of Industrial Art in Philadelphia between 1903 and 1913. Having summers free, he traveled to Greece and Italy in 1910 and his passion for classical antiquity was aroused. In 1911, he enrolled at Haverford College where he earned his A.B. degree with honors after six years. He furthered his studies at the University of Pennsylvania where he earned a Ph.D. in Greek in 1921. During these years of study, he taught Greek at Haverford College, was an assistant professor of fine arts at Swarthmore College, and he also taught at Friends' Central School in Philadelphia. After earning his degree in 1921, he accepted the position of director of art education for the public schools of Wilmington, Delaware where he worked until 1929.

Barker discovered lithography in 1926 and was hopeful that he could translate the rich tones of charcoal to a limestone. He studied lithography with Bolton Brown during the summer of 1927 at the Summer School of Lithography and Etching in the Catskill region of New York. Lithography became Barker's medium of choice and he produced over 200 hundred works. His subject matter was often the rural landscapes in southeastern Pennsylvania. 

Barker's work is represented in the collections of the Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover; Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge; Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles County Museum; New York Public Library; Newark Public Library, New Jersey; and the Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy. Albert Winslow Barker died on 5 December 1947.
Gillian Greenhill Hannum; "A Visual Memoir: Prints and Drawings by Albert Winslow Barker," Brandywine River Museum.