Barbara Crane (born 1928) is an American artist photographer born in Chicago, Illinois. She attended Mills College in Oakland, and continued her studies under Aaron Siskind at the Illinois Institute of Technology. She earned her graduate degree in photography in 1966 from the Institute of Design, and was a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1967 to 1995. Crane works with a variety of materials including Polaroid, gelatin silver, and platinum prints among others. She is known for her experimental and innovative work that challenges the straight photograph by incorporating sequencing, layered negatives, and repeated frames. Naomi Rosenblum notes that Crane "pioneered the use of repetition to convey the mechanical character of much of contemporary life, even in its recreational aspects."
Crane has been the recipient of fellowships and grants, such as the Illinois Arts Council Artists Fellowship (2001), National Endowment for the Arts Grant (1988, 1974), Polaroid Corporation Materials Grants (1979-1995), and John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in Photography (1979). She has also been an honored educator for the National Society for Photographic Education (1993); a distinguished artist at the Union League Club in Chicago, Illinois (2006); and a distinguished artist at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island (2006). Her awards include the YWCA Outstanding Achievement Award (1987) and the Ruth Horwich Award to a Famous Chicago Artist (Chicago, Illinois, 2009). In 2013, Barbara Crane was named artist honoree at the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago, Illinois. Crane's work is represented in numerous public collections including the International Center for Photography, New York City; the International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House, Rochester; the Art Institute of Chicago; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the WestLicht Museum of Photography, Vienna, Austria.