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Tina Barney

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Tina Barney
Tina Isles

(1945-10-27) October 27, 1945 (age 78)
New York City, US
SpouseJohn Joseph Barney
FamilyEmanuel Lehman (great-grandfather)
Philip Lehman (grandfather)
Stephane Groueff (step-father)
Alexandra Moltke (sister-in-law)

Tina Barney (born October 27, 1945)[1] is an American photographer best known for her large-scale, color portraits of her family and close friends in New York and New England.[2] She is a member of the Lehman family.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Barney was born Tina Isles,[3][4] one of three children of Philip Henry Isles (1912–1989) and his wife 1940s fashion model Lillian Fox. Her parents later divorced and her mother remarried to writer Stephane Groueff. Her great-grandfather was Emanuel Lehman, co-founder of Lehman Brothers. She was introduced to photography by her grandfather when she was a child. As a teenager, she studied Art History at Spence School in Manhattan, and at the age of 19, she lived in Italy for a time where she was able to further study art.[5] Barney first got involved with photography, when she was asked to volunteer for the Junior Council of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, around 1971, working in the photography department and cataloguing work for a show. She started to collect photographs and go to different galleries, to educate herself on the medium. After moving to Sun Valley, Idaho in 1973, she started to take photography classes as a hobby.[6] While in Idaho, she studied at the Sun Valley Center for Arts and Humanities in Ketchum, from 1976 to 1979.[7] Additionally, she has completed workshops with Frederick Sommer, Roger Mertin, Joyce Niemanas, Duane Michals, Nathan Lyons, John Pfahl, and Robert Cumming.[7]


Barney is most well known for creating large format, colorful photographs of her wealthy, East Coast family. The images straddle the line between candid and tableau photography.[5] The wealthy became an aesthetic in Barney's work, her but "fascination is with the repetition of traditions and rituals. The idea that families no matter where they come from, kind of do the same thing."[8] Barney's work is in the collections of the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, New York; the Museum of Modern Art in New York City; the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas; the JPMorgan Chase Art Collection in New York City; and the Museum of Contemporary Photography.[9] More recently her work has been shown at the New York State Theater in New York, in 2011; The Barbican Art Centre, London; Museum Folkwang in Essen, Museum der Art Moderne, Salzburg, and others.

Barney has also produced or co-directed short films on the photographers Jan Groover (Jan Groover: Tilting at Space, 1994) and Horst P. Horst (Horst, 1988). She had a documentary filmed about her life, aired 2007 on Sundance Channel, directed by Jaci Judelson. Barney has been the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in 1991, and the 2010 Lucie Award for Achievement in Portraiture.

Barney is currently represented by the Kasmin Gallery in New York City.

Personal life[edit]

In 1966, she married John Joseph Barney of Watch Hill, Rhode Island.[4] Her brother, Philip Henry Isles II, married to actress Alexandra Moltke[10]

Notable works[edit]

  • Marina's Room, 1987[11]
  • Houselights, 1999[11]
  • Jill and the TV, 1989[11]
  • The Two Friends, 2002[11]


  • Players (Steidl, 2011) ISBN 3-86521-995-0
  • The Europeans (Barbican Art Gallery and Steidl, 2005) ISBN 3-86521-095-3
  • Friends and Relations: Photographs by Tina Barney (Smithsonian Institution, 1991) ISBN 1-56098-048-6


Awards and Grants[edit]


  1. ^ a b Full text of "John L. Loeb Collection" retrieved October 28, 2015
  2. ^ "so the story goes". Artic.edu. 2006-12-03. Retrieved 2016-02-04.
  3. ^ Great Women Artists. Phaidon Press. 2019. p. 47. ISBN 978-0714878775.
  4. ^ a b Stony Brook University: "Exteriors, Interiors, and Positionality: The Photography of Tina Barney - A Dissertation Presented by Susan A. Van Scoy May 2010 - p.44
  5. ^ a b Grundberg, with texts by Tina Barney & Andy (1997). Tina Barney : photographs : theater of manners (1st Scalo ed.). Zurich: Scalo. ISBN 3931141608.
  6. ^ Barney, Tina (1991). Friends and Relations: Photographs. Published in association with Constance Sullivan Editions. p. 5. ISBN 1-56098-048-6. How did you become involved with photography?" "A friend asked me to volunteer for the Junior Council of the museum of Modern Art in New York. The first project they gave me was to go to the photography department and catalogue photographs for a show. This was in 1971 or 1972. I had never heard of Ansel Adams or really looked at any art photography before, and I became totally enamored of photography. I started collecting it because you could buy photographs for very little money then. So I educated myself by going to the different galleries. My family and I decided to move to Sun Valley, Idaho in 1973. After living there for about a month, I found an art center with wonderful photography department, and started taking classes as a hobby. I was about twenty-eight years old, and had been married for eight years, with two little kids. I worked and learned how to print for about a year when a friend of mine said, 'you know, these are really good. You should have a show with me.' but I never took myself seriously because my standards were so high. And that's how it really all began.
  7. ^ a b "Tina Barney". artnet. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  8. ^ "Tina Barney’s Embarrassment of Riches." Interview by Joseph Akel. The Paris Review. September 26, 2017. Accessed February 9, 2019. https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2017/09/26/tina-barneys-embarrassment-riches/.
  9. ^ "Collection | Museum of Contemporary Photography". Mocp.org. Retrieved 2016-02-04.
  10. ^ "WEDDINGS/CELEBRATIONS; Hannah Bond, Adam Isles". The New York Times. September 14, 2003.
  11. ^ a b c d Friedewald, Boris (2014). Women photographers : from Julia Margaret Cameron to Cindy Sherman. Munich. ISBN 978-3-7913-4814-8. OCLC 864503297.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  12. ^ "Recontres d'Arles Past Festivals". Archived from the original on 2014-02-21.
  13. ^ "Tina Barney: The Europeans exhibition at Barbican Art Gallery". Archived from the original on 2009-05-26.
  14. ^ Barney, Tina (2005). The Europeans. Barbican Art Gallery, London and Steidl Publishers, Göttingen, Germany. ISBN 3-86521-095-3.
  15. ^ Barney, Tina (2011). Players. Steidl Publishers. ISBN 978-3-86521-995-4.
  16. ^ "Haggerty Museum of Art Winter 2012 News" (PDF).
  17. ^ "Tina Barney, The Europeans, Exhibition at Haggerty Museum of Art".
  18. ^ "Tina Barney. Small Towns exhibition at Janet Borden, Inc".
  19. ^ "Tina Barney The Europeans exhibition at Frist Center for Visual Arts catalogue" (PDF).
  20. ^ "Tina Barney, The Europeans exhibition at Frist Center for the Visual Arts".
  21. ^ "Tina Barney Four Decades exhibition press release".
  22. ^ http://www.paulkasmingallery.com/exhibition/tina-barney--four-decades Four Decades
  23. ^ "Tina Barney 2010 Honoree: Achievement in Portraiture".
  24. ^ "Tina Barney: John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow 1991 Photography".

External links[edit]