Barrett Photos Included in U.S. Embassy's Mother Teresa Online Exhibit
September 07, 2016
A new online exhibit documenting Mother Teresa's visits to the United States by the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See (the Vatican) includes two photographs taken in 1979 by Webster University Electronic & Photographic Media professor Bill Barrett.
The exhibit notes Barrett's role as a faculty member at Webster University in the School of Communications, but the photos themselves date back to his time in New York working with New York Catholic Worker and Dorothy Day.
Barrett explained how he came to gain access to photograph Mother Teresa:
"In 1979, when I made these photographs, I was involved at the New York Catholic Worker. Eileen Egan was a friend of the Worker and of Dorothy Day, who co-founded it. Eileen was also friends with Mother Teresa, and one day brought her to the house to have tea with Dorothy. Because both Dorothy and Eileen knew me, I was invited to join them in the office and photograph them all together."
In fact, Barrett said that in Jim Forest's biography of Dorothy Day, Love is the Measure, Forest wrote that Barrett “was one of the few photographers who didn’t make her (Dorothy Day) nervous.”
A collection of Barrett's photographs from those years is in the Catholic Worker Archives in the Marquette University Library. As the exhibit was being organized this summer, Marquette put the U.S. Embassy to the Vatican in contact with Barrett.