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Barbara Morgan (American, 1900-1992)


Also known as:  Morgan, Barbara Brooks Johnson

Birth Place: Buffalo (Wilson county, Kansas, United States)

Barbara Morgan, formerly Barbara Brooks Johnson was an American photographer born on July 8, 1900 in Buffalo, Kansas. She grew up in Southern California where her family moved to after she was born. She went to UCLA from 1919-1923 where she majored in Arts. Her education at UCLA was based on Arthur Wesley Dow's principles of art synthesis. She was taught art design parallel to figurative drawing and painting, and she was also taught Art history with significant emphasis on the primitive Asian, and European artistic traditions.

After Barbara graduated from UCLA, she had a very rich and full career in the Arts starting with paintings and became an advocate for modern art. Her principal medium became photography, and she was best known for her wonderful dance photographs from the 1930s to the 1940s with emphasis on the modern dance of Martha Graham and her dance company.

She was a master at her craft and her career spanned over 50 years with her creating fascinating photomontage in 1980, candid photographs of children, and experimental light drawings. She also published several books, one of which is Summer's Children on summer camp culture and was in numerous exhibitions. Some of her works were Ekstasis, which became a part of a traveling show from MOMA in the mid 1930s, Doris Humphrey's Square Dance in 1938, Martha Graham's Lamentation in 1935. She was a co founder of the photography magazine Aperture. She got a lifetime Achievement Award of American Society of Magazine Photographers. She was married to William D Morgan and they had two kids.

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