our people

Donnamarie Barnes

Director of History & Heritage

Donnamarie Barnes began working at Sylvester Manor in 2014 as a volunteer and history docent. In 2016, she joined the staff full time as Curator & Archivist and curated the exhibitions, “Women of the Manor,” “A Place in Pictures” and “All That Has Been: Our Roots Revealed.” She is currently the Director of History & Heritage which includes researching the lives and identities of the Enslaved, Free People of Color and Indigenous People of Sylvester Manor and Eastern Long Island, interpreting their stories into the Manor’s narrative and serving as the liaison between partner organizations and institutions of higher learning. In addition, Donnamarie directs the conservation and interpretation of the various collections at Sylvester Manor.

As a life-long summer and full-time resident of Ninevah Beach in the historic SANS Community in Sag Harbor, Donnamarie grew up photographing the community and the beach landscape which she continues to do combining the research she does at Sylvester Manor with capturing the historic memory in the landscape. In 2015 she curated a highly acclaimed historic tintype photography exhibition at the Eastville Community Historical Society in Sag Harbor entitled “Collective Identity.”

Donnamarie serves on the steering committee of The Northern Slavery Collective, the Board of Trustees of the Greater Hudson Heritage Network, and is co-founder of the Plain Sight Project. Prior to joining the Manor, Donnamarie worked for over thirty years in the editorial photography field as a photographer and photo editor for publications such as People and Essence Magazines and as a Photo Editor at the Gamma Liaison international news photo agency.

Donnamarie holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography from the Cooper Union School of Art.