AP NEWS

Lost Huntington: Barta Studios

April 8, 2019

Editor’s Note: This is the 282nd in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.

HUNTINGTON — In the 1920s, when Joe Barta was a high school senior in Martins Ferry, Ohio, he was hired as a photographer’s assistant - a job that set him on the path to becoming a nationally known professional photographer.

His training took him to Chicago, where he worked as a freelance newspaper photographer. Returning to Huntington in 1947, he set up Barta Studios of Photography. Initially he located his studio in the Real Estate Exchange Building, later moving to 846 4th Ave., upstairs over the Smart Shop.

Barta specialized in portrait photography, but over the years did all types of photographs — commercial, industrial and aerial. During his long career, he photographed more than 5,000 weddings. He liked to say “I’ll photograph anything but underwater.”

Over the years, Barta won a string of national awards for his work. In 1961, he won a top honor in his field, the National Award of the Professional Photographers of America. And he was honored by the Eastman Kodak Co. for his display at the New York World’s Fair of 1964.

Barta sold his studio in 1974, but continued sometimes to shoot photographs for the new owner.