Barringer, Tim(othy J.)
Barringer, Tim(othy J.)
(T. J. Barringer)
CAREER: Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England, research department curator, 1993–95; New York University, New York, NY, adjunct assistant professor, 1995–2000; University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England, lecturer, 1996–98; Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, adjunct assistant professor, 1997; Yale University, New Haven, CT, assistant professor of art history, 1998–.
AWARDS, HONORS: Morse fellowship, Yale University, 2000–01; Sarai Ribicoff Teaching Prize, 2004; Getty fellow, 2004–05; Art Newspaper Exhibition Catalogue Prize, and Henry Russell Hitchcock Prize, both Victorian Society of America, both for American Sublime: Landscape Painting in the United States, 1820–1880.
(Under name T. J. Barringer) The Cole Family: Painters of the English Landscape, 1838–1975, Portsmouth City Museums (Portsmouth, Hampshire, England), 1988.
(Under name T. J. Barringer) Reading the Pre-Raphaelites, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT) 1998, published as The Pre-Raphaelites: Reading the Image, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 1998.
(Editor, with Tom Flynn) Colonialism and the Object: Empire, Material Culture, and the Museum, Routledge (London, England), 1998.
(Editor, under name T. J. Barringer, with Elizabeth Prettejohn) Frederic Leighton: Antiquity, Renaissance, Modernity, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 1999.
(Under name T. J. Barringer) Men at Work: Art and Labour in Victorian Britain, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 2005.
Contributor to books, including Macmillan's Dictionary of Art, Macmillan, 1996; English Art 1860–1914: Modern Artists and Identity, Manchester University Press, 2000; and New Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. Contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals, including Art History, Journal of Victorian Culture, Apollo, Albion, Journal of British Studies, Victoria Studies, and Journal of Design History. Member of editorial advisory boards for Victorian Studies, Journal of Visual Culture in Britain, and Victorian Literature and Culture.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Art and Music in Britain.
SIDELIGHTS: Art historian and educator Tim Barringer's areas of specialty include Victorian visual culture, British art from 1700 to the present, American and British landscape painting, museum studies, postcolonial studies, and gender studies. His Reading the Pre-Raphaelites studies the evolution of the art of mid-Victorian England and the compositional vitality and use of color for which this period is known. He also explores the significance of Pre-Raphaelite paintings, as exemplified by the works of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Morris, and Edward Colley Burne-Jones, in relation to the culture of nineteenth-century Britain.
Along with Tom Flynn, Barringer edited Colonialism and the Object: Empire, Material Culture, and the Museum, a wide-ranging collection of essays resulting from a 1995 art history conference at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London that indicate the connections and transitions between the art of the colonial past and modern-day works. The editors note that "the intersection between colonialism, museums, and objects unites … three substantial bodies of contemporary theory, post-colonial theory, museum studies, and material culture studies/design history." Victoria Studies contributor Thomas Prasch felt that Barringer's essay on the history of the Victoria and Albert, formerly the South Kensington Museum, is "the most interesting—and indeed one well-placed at the beginning of the volume, as it provides a groundwork" for a number of other essays.
Barringer covers three periods in the museum's history that encompass the larger period from 1851 to 1900. He discusses changes in the collections and displays, including how Indian and other pre-industrial crafts impacted the design revolution supported by Henry Cole. Other essays focus on Chinese art, the relocations of the gateway of Gwalior, and relocated Maori meetinghouses. Four essays discuss the way collections of items shaped perceptions of people of other cultures, particularly the Chinese following the Opium War. Collecting by missionaries in Africa is handled through a comparison of the items gathered by David Livingstone during his 1858 to 1864 Zambezi expedition with those collected by Canadian missionary David Curry, who was in Angola from 1886 to 1910.
The final group of essays studies the promotion of Asian arts and crafts and cross-cultural crafts. Used as an example is a wooden screen carved by Ram Singh that reflects Indian craft and British design. Singh studied at the Mayo school under Rudyard Kipling's father, Lockwood Kipling. Prasch concluded by saying that this volume "demonstrates the range of possibilities opened up by the study of museums and museum collections from a postcolonial perspective."
Frederic Leighton: Antiquity, Renaissance, Modernity is the result of Barringer's collaboration with Elizabeth Prettejohn. The volume's fourteen papers study Leighton (1830–1896), an artist who was also president of the Royal Academy of Arts, and whose work was often criticized as being effeminate and flamboyant. The contributors examine his work in three sections that focus on Leighton's use of aesthetic elements from antiquity, his use of Renaissance elements, including settings and costumes, and his links to modernity. Library Journal contributor Martin Chasin wrote that the volume provides "a very useful and extremely important examination of Leighton's work."
Barringer was co-curator, with Andrew Wilson, of the Tate Gallery exhibit American Sublime: Landscape Painting in the United States, 1820–1880, as well as coauthor, also with Wilson, of the award-winning companion book. Called "breathtaking" by Patricia Moore in Kliatt, the art history book features the work of such landscape artists as Cole, Durand, Kensett, Heade, Gifford, Cropsey, Church, Bierstadt, and Moran. Most are considered members of the "Hudson River School," in that they traveled from New York's Hudson River Valley and Catskills west to the Rocky Mountain West and south to the Andes. The volume includes historical descriptions of the paintings selected and studies how European traditions and artists influenced American landscape painting. The works depict a range of subjects, including the Catskills, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, the Arctic, and Andean volcanoes. Booklist writer Donna Seaman wrote that Barringer "discusses the profound effect on the painters' imaginations of a pristine land free of Western religious, literary, and historical associations." Northeastern Naturalist contributor Barbara Fifield concluded that this volume "captures the beauty, grandeur, wildness, and wilderness of early America."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Barringer, Tim, and Tom Flynn, editors, Colonialism and the Object: Empire, Material Culture, and the Museum, Routledge (London, England), 1998.
Booklist, June 1, 2002, Donna Seaman, review of American Sublime: Landscape Painting in the United States, 1820–1880, p. 1662.
Kliatt, March, 2004, Patricia Moore, review of American Sublime, p. 42.
Library Journal, June 1, 1999, Martin Chasin, review of Frederic Leighton: Antiquity, Renaissance, Modernity, p. 106; July, 2002, Kraig Binkowski, review of American Sublime, p. 76.
National Geographic Adventure, October, 2002, review of American Sublime, p. 45.
Northeastern Naturalist, Volume 11, issue 2, Barbara Fifield, review of American Sublime, p. 235.
Victorian Studies, autumn, 2000, Thomas Prasch, review of Colonialism and the Object: Empire, Material Culture, and the Museum, p. 146.