Barnes Museum of Cinematography

Barnes Museum of Cinematography

44 Fore Street, St. Ives, TR26 1HE

Film Museum

The film historian John Barnes was a leading authority on pre-cinema and early cinema, and with his twin brother William, opened the Barnes Museum of Cinematography, in 1963. Their collection filled two whole floors of a house in Fore Street and, as one of the first film museums, it became a focal point for scholars worldwide.

The collection continued to grow as William, based in London, hunted for the marvellous at ephemera fairs and auctions, and ran an antiques stall dedicated to photography and cinema. The museum, where John's wife Carmen was assistant curator, closed in 1986; by then he was recognised as a great expert in the field, and he continued to devote ever more time to his work as a historian.

In 1997 John and William Barnes were awarded the Jean Mitry prize by the Pordenone Silent Film Festival in Italy for their distinguished contribution to silent cinema. In 2006 they received honorary doctorates from Stirling University. In recent years, the films they made in the 1930's, engaging records of farming, fishing and Romany life near Canterbury, have found new and admiring audiences.

John Stuart Lloyd Barnes, film historian and collector was born on June 28th 1920, and died June 1st 2008 aged 87.


In Fore Street St. Ives amongst the shops.

Now Closed

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