Lifetime of Globetrotting Leads to Impressive Curation of Photos, Artifacts, Textiles & More
Rhythmic drums beat for dancers arrayed in gorgeous bead encrusted and artfully embroidered tribal raiment. Gentle waves lap against the sides of modest fishing boats tethered along the coast while weathered hands mend nets. Distant echoing roars of lions waking from slumber interweave with the trumpeting of elephants during the waning hours of the day while local tribes people prepare their harvest festival. These are but a smattering of the seductive sights and sounds which lured globetrotter and regionally renowned photographer, Barbara Paul to explore remote and exotic locales throughout the world alongside her devoted husband, Roland.
Travels, Experiences, & Exhibitions
Long before the advent of smartphones and computers, these two amazing people sought to sojourn in remote villages and regions on a quest to experience the most diverse and untouched cultures in outlying venues in Namibia, Kenya, Ghana, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Oman, Benin, Togo, Petra, Laos, Sri Lanka, India, Eastern Tibet, Mongolia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Mali. Over the course of almost 40 years (beginning the 1980s and continuing through the 2010s) the couple had the most amazing opportunity to travel and experience a vast array of cultures in over 50 different countries. It was during these travels that Barbara began to curate her extensive personal collection of textiles, works of art, and artifacts of the many peoples and remote recesses of the world this dynamic couple visited, as well as develop her skill as a talented photographer.
It was, perhaps, the most secluded regions of the world which captured the Pauls' imagination and hearts, as well as forever connected them to the people they met. The couple traveled to these isolated and "off the beaten track" countries, provinces, and villages in the hopes of witnessing and experiencing first-hand, the various indigenous peoples and their tribal rituals and customs before those groups were encroached upon by modern-era hegemony.
Barbara's love of photography and flair for capturing the colorful textiles, costumes, fashion, jewelry, and centuries-old traditions and routines of the peoples she met were widely featured in a variety of gallery exhibitions in Connecticut and New York including: The Tibet House US, Gallery Vietnam, Black Rock Art Center, the Thomas J. Walsh Gallery at the Quick Center at Fairfield University, Earthplace of Westport, and the Fairfield University Downtown Bookstore, as well as public libraries in Ridgefield, Rye, Norwalk, Westport, New Haven, and Darien. Her passion for sharing the regions, festivals, dress, customs, and traditions of her subjects culminated in gallery exhibitions such as:
“Voodoo, Villages, Festivals: Ghana, Benin & Togo”
"Traditions of India"
"The Samburu of Kenya"
'The Amazing Himba People of Namibia'
"Theyyam Ritual Dance -- India"
"In the Spirit of Animals" (a joint effort with two others)
"Rhythms of Rural Asia"
"The Romance of Sri Lanka"
"Grasslands of Eastern Tibet: Nomads, Festivals & Monasteries"
In addition to their travels, the Pauls frequently invited UN Ambassadors of the countries they visited to attend the gallery openings and became good friends with those dignitaries and their families from Sri Lanka and Namibia, among others. Barbara's legacy was further honored, earlier this year, when the American Museum of Natural History accepted pieces from her personal collection for future exhibition, along with select photos documenting Barbara's travels and experiences.
The Barbara Paul Estate Collection
It is in this same vein of sharing her curated collection of cultural treasures from all over the globe, that BRG is pleased to offer the Estate and Lifetime Collection of Barbara J. Paul to the public in an eclectic online auction. This collection features a unique and wide-ranging array of textiles, tribal and regional clothing, headdresses, jewelry, porcelains, fine art, and more.
⬅︎ A PAIR OF CHINESE LATE QING DYNASTY EMBROIDERED SILK PLATFORM SHOES
Item #: 128059
A LATE TIBETAN WOVEN & EMBROIDERED
Item #: 128016
Decorated with gold couched thread with colorful images of the Buddha. Mounted on black silk in a museum quality gilt frame.
⬅︎ CUTE ASIAN CHILD'S EMBROIDERED ROBE DECORATED WITH BIRDS & ANIMALS
Item #: 144124
White fabric with bright dense multi-colored embroidery overall with birds, elephants, and flowers. On a weighted lucite stand. L. 22", W. 31" with sleeves.
⬅︎ CHINESE LATE QING DYNASTY
Item #: 126708
A yellow silk ground embroidered with a silk five-clawed dragon with celestial pearl; wave hem and with stylized flowers mounted in a plexiglass shadow box frame. 47" x 28"
Jewelry & Accessories
A LATE TIBETAN PRIEST'S HAT ➡︎
Item #: 128073
Yellow and gold lacquered large brimmed Tibetan priest's hat with silvered metal and coral ball finial along with 12 smaller coral accents. 14” x 12”
⬅︎ TRIBAL BEADED NECKLACE
Item #: 143545
Multiple strands of coral tone and black beads linked by bars. With brass bell-shaped pendants and white stone closure. On a white fabric mount. H. 16", W. 7"
Textiles & Decorative Art
FINE INDO-PERSIAN PAINTED PAGE ➡︎
Item #: 143556
A painted manuscript page. Male figures on horseback are in a hilly landscape below a deep blue sky. The center figure's horse wears a beautiful deep blue decorated blanket. Texts appear above and below right. Ecru borders.
FINE SILVER ASIAN SHALLOW BOWL ➡︎
Item #: 128166
Eastern shallow bowl in high relief, with floral and pendant leafy bands. With two back- to- back elephant heads in the center roundel on the base. 5” diameter x 1 1/2” high. 3.8 OZT.
Barbara was born in New York and was a graduate of Wellesley College. She received a Masters, Business Administration from NYU. After working for many years as a teacher in the private school system, she eventually segued into commercial banking. By the 1980s, Barbara began pursuing her interest in photography and extensive travel with her husband, Roland.
A resident of Westport, CT, she became an avid supporter of local arts and was a member of the Fairfield Arts Council, the Westport Arts Center, and the Stamford Arts Council. She remained active in the arts until her recent passing.
Keywords: Barbara Paul, Barbara J. Paul, globetrotter, world traveler, photographer, curated collection, Wellesley College, Fairfield Arts Council, Westport Arts Center, Stamford Arts Council, American Museum of Natural History, the Tibet House US, Gallery Vietnam, Ridgefield Library, Westport, Roland Paul