Barbara J. Dombach                                                 antiquary photographic processes



  I grew up on a farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  Since I was a child I wanted to be an artist but pastels, oil paint and other media proved insignificant when I began to hold an old Argus box camera.  From the beginning of my journey I seemed predisposed to a curious fascination with historic photographic processes and began to teach myself methods once used my many photographers.

 Each project evolves from sporadic inspiration.  My sub-conscious seems to work overtime during the night and while in dreams my adventure may begin, while other ideas are captive in portions of my past hidden to me until the perfect time to blossom.  Then there are projects that unfold from a simple statement or act in present time. 

  Throughout my portfolios my images have a communal connection and a key element of mystery and hint of ambiguity, past or present.  I choose the historic photographic process to introduce serendipity and offer  an echo of foregoing quality.  Some have described my work as, “Simplistic Beauty,” S. Hershey and “Intimate Images,” C. Kerne and “Very delicate and extremely fine work,” stated by R. Lowing.


the Forbidden Box

Forbidden from me and held captive in one cardboard box hidden away for 45 years are nearly 40 small volumes in which my Grandmother faithfully wrote each day of the family’s life.  This project exemplifies excerpts from her written words as a woman with strong religious principle, wife, mother and truck farmer.

Unfinished Dreams

We have all had them but not all of us can remember them vividly.  It’s about those perplexing visions that visit my sleep which seemingly have no rhyme or reason.  For some of us, these strange depictions of fleeting moments or memories past could be called nightmares, but for me these bits and pieces of passing visions are simply “Unfinished Dreams.” 


When I was a toddler I was unable to walk, crippled by a birth defect that left my legs twisted.  I remember sitting on the earth while my mother worked in the garden.  There I would pick green and dried blades of grass and plants and be amazed and content for a while. Each bent stem maintained the spirit to grow and become strong. 

What’s On Your Plate?”

My Grandparent’s did it as a way to be frugal and grow what local grocers could not supply.  My Parent’s taught me how to do it and mother taught me how to can and freeze what the garden produced so I knew where our food came from and how it was cared for.   

"Maine Light"

My husband and I first traveled to the mid-northern section of Maine in 2001 staying at a lodge in the midst of the paper manufacturing area.  This project began while admiring nature and rejuvenating my soul. In 2003 I was awarded and “Artist in Residence” position at Acadia National Park to explore “Down East” Maine.  



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