Martin Barnes is Senior Curator of Photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) London which he joined in 1995. Previously, he worked for the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool and studied at the University of Leicester and the Courtauld Institute of Art, London.
Since 1997 he has worked on the Photography Gallery at the V&A, which draws exhibitions from the Museum’s national collection of the art of photography. He has also curated numerous UK touring exhibitions, including Aspects of Architecture; Where Are We; Questions of Landscape and Something That I’ll Never Really See; Contemporary Photography from the V&A and was the V&A curator for the exhibitions: Diane Arbus Revelations (2005-6); Twilight: Photography in the Magic Hour (2006); Shadow Catchers: Camera-less Photography (2010) and co-curator of Figures and Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography (2011).
His publications include Benjamin Brecknell Turner. Rural England through a Victorian Lens, (V&A Publications, 2001); Illumine. Photographs by Garry Fabian Miller. A Retrospective (Merrell, 2005); Twilight: Photography in the Magic Hour (V&A / Merrell, 2006) and Shadow Catchers: Camera-less Photography ( V&A / Merrell, 2010).
He was editor of Talking Photography, a catalogue of the audio and visual collections of the British Library National Sound Archive, where he is an interviewer for the Oral History of British Photography project. He has written articles and essays on various contemporary photographers for publications and journals including Aperture and Portfolio, entries for The Folio Society Book of the 100 Greatest Photographs (2006) and the Encyclopaedia of Nineteenth Century Photography (2007) and contributed to international exhibition catalogues on the role of photography in the Pre-Raphaelite and Arts and Crafts Movements.