- Also known as
Capt Francis Rickman Barton
primary name: Barton, Francis Rickman
other name: Barton, F W
- individual; military/naval; official; collector; photographer; English; Male
- Life dates
- 1865-1945 or 1947
- Army captain serving in Sierra Leone and Barbados, who went to New Guinea in 1899, becoming private secretary to the Governor (1899-1900), Commandant of the Armed Native Constablulary (1900-1902), then Resident Magistrate in Central Division i(1902-1904) and Administrator of New Guinea from 1904-7 based in Port Moresby. In April 1907 took leave of absence and resigned in April 1908. In 1904 met the British anthropologist, Charles Seligman (q.v.), part of the Cook Daniels expedition, and carried out field research for him and contributed to his book 'Melanesians of British New Guinea' (Seligman: 1910). After his resignation in 1908, he moved to Zanzibar.
Donated 257 artefacts to the British Museum in 1919 (part of the Christy collection), all from Papua New Guinea. A further 8 of his Papua New Guinea objects were donated by Seligman or Sir George Ruthven Le Hunte (Administrator of New Guinea 1899 - 1903). The collection includes numerous arrows and bows, lime spatulas and pottery vessels as well as axes, body ornaments and tobacco-pipes. Sixteen photographs taken by Barton in British New Guinea - nearly all of women in the Central Division with geometric body tattoos (and indicative of Barton’s interest in producing an anthropological survey of tattooing) - are in the British Museum Pictorial Collection (Oc-A9-1 - 26).
- Wright, Christopher : ‘Supple Bodies: The Papua New Guinea Photographs of Captain Francis R. Barton’. In Christopher Pinney and Nicholas Peterson (eds.) Photography’s Other Histories. Duke University Press, Durham and London 2003
Encyclopaedia of Papua and New Guinea, Victoria, Melbourne University Press, 1972 E Edwards. 1992. Anthropology & Photography 1860-1920, New Haven: Yale University Press.
Dictionary of British and Irish Botanists and Horticulturists: Including Plant Collectors, Flower Painters, and Garden Designers, R Desmond, C. Ellwood. 1994. CRC Press.