Photos by Michael Harker

This collection of twenty 11 x 18 inch black and white photos captures the nostalgic beauty of barns as well as the enduring pride of the farmers who built them. Michael Harker began photographing these structures in 1993 with his rare artistic approach—shooting only one photo of each barn—one view of the facade, interior, or architectural detail that conveys its individual story. The actual barns are disappearing from Iowa at a rate of a thousand a year, but Harker’s images visually preserve a foundation of the agrarian life…a piece of our Iowan identity. Featured by the Smithsonian Institution, Barns of Iowa has been exhibited at the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site in West Branch, the Department of Agriculture building in Des Moines, and at the State Historical Society of Iowa. Distinctive descriptions written by Loren Horton, retired Senior Historian of the State Historical Society, accompany the photos. Photographer Michael Harker was also a part of HI’s Speakers Bureau.

Please consult with the Humanities Iowa office for transportation and setup of this exhibit. This exhibit must be picked up and returned by private vehicle to the HI office.

The Barns of Iowa poster is available for purchase at the Iowa State Capitol. Please contact the Governor’s Aid’s office for pricing deals.