Barbara Barefield

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Barbara Barefield
Barbara Barefield.jpg
Photo by Daymon J. Hartley
Background Information




Graphic Designer, Photographer, Ceramic artist


Music Photographer, Artist, Graphic Designer

Years Active

1970's - Present



From Website
Artist, photographer and music lover Barbara Weinberg Barefield has been photographing musicians—especially jazz—performing artists, Detroit history, and more since the early 1970s. A graduate of the University of Michigan College of Architecture and Design, her love of photography was developed in the darkrooms at U-M, and then honed and expanded when she was the Art Director of the Detroit Free Press Sunday magazine in the late 1970s. There she was mentored by the Director of the Photo Department, Pulitzer Prize winning Chief Photographer Tony Spina, who taught her to master the traditional art of hand-tinting photos. Prior to popularity of digital photography, she worked primarily with 35mm black and white film.

Barbara has also devoted herself to producing, promoting, and presenting hundreds of concerts and musical experiences both locally and internationally with her husband, jazz guitarist composer A. Spencer Barefield. Highlights include the 1979-1992 "Creative Music at the DIA" series at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Day of Discovery concerts at the Detroit Jazz Festival, and the 10-year Palmer Woods Music in Homes concerts in Detroit mansions and historic homes. This has given her a unique opportunity to intimately document and know the gifted musicians she photographs.

Barefield's work is presently in the permanent collections of the Detroit Public Library E. Azalia Hackley Archive, the Greystone International Jazz Museum Archives, Rosetta Reitz Papers at the Duke University Library, and in many private collections. Her photographs are included in the current exhibit "Sonic Rebellion: Music as Resistance" at MOCAD (Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit ) and ArtPrize 9 at the Grand Rapids African American Museum.

While Adobe Photoshop has replaced her darkroom and Marshall Oil Paints, she hopes to delve back into traditional printing and painting after she has completed digitizing the thousands of negatives residing in her darkroom.

Barbara Barefield and her son, A. Spencer Barefield IV also run Barefield ClayWorks the Detroit-based art studio and gallery. They specialize in both handcrafted pottery created on the potter's wheel, and individually hand-built functional and decorative artwork, a line of Judaic pieces, as well as tile work and custom-designed ceramic art.

Photo Albums

Jazz Space Detroit
Aretha Franklin
Flicker Albums
Facebook Albums
Palmer Woods Music in Homes

External Links

Barefield ClayWorks Website
Google Plus