The result of a seven-and-a-half-year undertaking to document Iowa's barns and all they represent, "Harker's Barns: Visions of an American Icon" featured seventy-five stunning black-and-white photographs by Michael Harker. An impressive and well-received collection, the book helped preserve the glory of one of rural America's most elemental icons. "Still Standing: A Postcard Book of Thirty of Harker's Barn Photographs" - some from "Harker's Barns", some previously unseen - continues that mission of preservation. Printed on heavy card stock and perforated for easy removal, the cards showcase Midwestern barns - from square to round, wood to brick, Dutch to Swedish, occupied or abandoned, all symbolizing a passing way of life that was once the lifeblood of Iowa and the Midwest. As barns continue to disappear, these images will endure. "Barns Again! Celebrating an American Icon," an exhibit of Harker's barn photos (with text by Loren Horton) sponsored by Humanities Iowa and organized by the Smithsonian Institution's Traveling Exhibition Service and the National Building Museum, with assistance from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is currently touring Iowa.
Michael Harker is a documentary photographer who started photographing barns in 1993. A commercial photographer for more than twenty-five years and an ophthalmic photographer for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Harker is author of Harker's Barns: Visions of an American Icon (IOWA 2003, text by Jim Heynen). He is currently taking photos for books on one-room schoolhouses and courthouses of Iowa.
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