Barbara (Bobbie) Norfleet is a seasonal Martha’s Vineyard resident with a home in Chilmark. When she is not on the island she lives in Cambridge. Bobbie received her Ph.D. in social relations in psychology from Harvard in 1951; she was one of only three women to earn a Ph.D. that year in any of the university’s departments. After teaching for 10 years, she took an Intro to Photography course at age 45, which changed the direction of her life. Eventually, Bobbie became a photographer and curator at Harvard’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. She can be credited with designing and teaching the first studio course mixing sociology, anthropology, and photography, which was a surprise hit after the politically turbulent late ’60s.
Bobbie has published six books of her own work, including “All the Right People,” “The Illusion of Orderly Progress,” “Landscape of the Cold War,” and “Manscape with Beasts.” Her 13 other books utilize images from her curated collection, now housed at Harvard’s Fogg Museum.
Bobbie's photos were first exhibited in 1979, but they have proved timeless. She is represented in the collections of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.