Michael Harker, Photographer:

 Barns of Iowa





Michael Harker Biography




Barns are an indelible feature of our midwestern landscape.  To some people, they are part of everyday life - structures that serve a purpose in their day-to-day work.  Other people may view them as a source of information; their architecture and structural innovations illustrate changing trends in farming and the development of new techniques and equipment.  To the rest of the population, the barns they see are simply part of the landscape, serving perhaps as landmarks or nostalgic reminders of their heritage.  Whatever our viewpoint, we can also appreciate their form and architectural details.

Photographer Michael Harker began a series of black and white photographs of Iowa barns and other farm structures in 1993.  As he photographed the barns and learned more about them, Harker discovered that Iowa was losing approximately 1,000 barns each year due to various causes.  He began a documentary project to capture images of existing barns and to focus public attention on the plight of the barns and on efforts to preserve Iowa's rural architecture.  In addition to photographing as many barns as possible, he has given lectures and has mounted exhibits of his photographs. 

This exhibit includes a selection of photographs from the Michael Harker photograph collection held by the Iowa State University Library Special Collections Department.  The original photographs are silver gelatin photographic prints, each measuring 11" x 14".  The images in this exhibit represent only a small portion of the collection which includes a total of seventy-six photographs.  The collection may be viewed in the Special Collections Department, 403 Parks Library on the Iowa State University campus.




NOTICE: The images on these pages are copyrighted. You may use them only after securing permission to do so.
Special Collections Department for information on using or obtaining copies of these images.

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