Richard Barnes

American (Newark, New Jersey, 1953)

Richard Barnes's photographs touch on themes related to science, history, archeology, and architecture. His interest in photography as a means to think about and represent the past developed in the 1990s, when he documented archaeological excavations in Abydos, Egypt. After directly observing the trajectory of artifacts from their excavation to their placement in museums, Barnes began a body of work based on the role of the museum in contemporary culture.

More recently, Barnes has extended his research to include the collections of the Museum of Comparative Anatomy in Paris, the Peabody Museum at Yale University, and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. His latest projects include Phylum and Refuge, a study of the architecture of bird nests made from materials typically disposed of by humans.


From June 3, 2013, through early 2016, SFMOMA's building on Third Street in San Francisco will be temporarily closed for expansion construction. Selected artworks in our collection are included in a range of off-site exhibitions during this period. We regret that the remainder of the collection will not be available for study during this time.

In the meantime, we invite you to explore a wide selection of our collection online. Please note that the information presented online is subject to revision. Please contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to verify artwork details.

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