Barbara Crane

(American, 1928-2019; resided in Chicago, IL)

For more than fifty years, Barbara Crane worked as a photographer creating highly formal, often abstracted images of a wide array of subjects including people, natural objects, and the urban landscape. That diversity was represented in her MPP portfolio with six sets of work. Black-and-white pictures included two groups: close, solarized photographs detailing bark and leaf, and a pair of contact printed diptychs of once-living things viewed recto and verso. Four color groups were even more ranging: long, adjacent-panel diptychs of trees; urban roofs and brick walls jumbled together in a collision of colors and textures; sand pictures with dark objects obscured by shallow focus and a nearly monochromatic palette; hubcaps, mushrooms, and glowing green leaves cropped into circular vignettes and collected into grids.

Crane, who studied at Mills College in California, completed her BA in art history at New York University and an MS from the Institute of Design (now the Illinois Institute of Technology). For twenty-eight years she taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The recipient of an NEA grant, Crane participated in 170 group exhibitions and mounted 75 solo exhibitions. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Art Institute of Chicago; among many others.