Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches
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BARBARA MACKIN BARKER
Barbara Mackin Barker, renowned scholar, teacher, and dancer, was born in Seattle, October 31, 1938, daughter of Esther and Hoover Mackin, the noted moon geologist. She received her dance training at the Cornish School of the Dance in Seattle and later at the University of Utah. After performing with Ballet West in Salt Lake City, she studied dance in Paris with Roland Petit and was a member for two years of the dance company that performed nightly at the Lido.
Subsequently, she returned to the United States and completed a master of fine arts degree in theatre and dance at The University of Texas in 1971 and a Ph.D. from New York University in 1981. She was an assistant professor at The University of Texas beginning in 1980 and was promoted to associate professor in 1985. During that time she worked closely with Ygor Youskevitch, one of the world's great dancers. At Texas, she taught a wide variety of courses, among them Movement for the Actor, Ballet Technique, Modern Dance, History of Dance, History of the American Musical Theatre, Women in Dance, Dance Aesthetics, and Philosophy of Dance.
In 1987 she accepted a position as coordinator of the dance program at the University of Minnesota, where she continued to be employed until her death on January 2, 2002. She was an extremely successful administrator at Minnesota, where she was able to attract donors who, in addition to other support, underwrote three academic chairs in dance. She also helped to raise funds for a dance building, which was dedicated in 1999 and named the Barbara Barker Center for Dance. She was successful in coordinating the various dance groups in the Twin Cities to create cooperative programs where none had previously existed. She also choreographed numerous musicals and dance programs.
Professor Barker was very active in promoting dance education and research in the United States. She served as president of the Society of Dance History Scholars from 1992 to 1995. In 1988, she directed an international conference on the Ballets Russes held at the North Carolina School for the Arts. She also received a Fulbright award for research in England, as well as many fellowships and grants in support of her research elsewhere.
Professor Barker was an authority on 19th century American ballet and musical entertainment. She was the author of Ballet and Ballyhoo: the American Careers of Maria Bonfanti, Rita Sangalli and Giuseppina Morlacchi (1984) and Bolossy Kiralfy: Creator of Great Musical Spectacles (1988). She published numerous articles in journals and essays in books. At the time of her death she was working on a comprehensive study of the work of Agnes DeMille.
She is survived by two daughters, Amy Reilly and Molly Gray, and her husband James H. Warner.
Larry R. Faulkner, President
The University of Texas at Austin
John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty
This memorial resolution was prepared by a special committee consisting of Professors Oscar G. Brockett (chair), Sondra Lomax, and Coleman A. Jennings.