Schwortz Barrie Marshall (b. 1946)
American photographer and film producer, official photographer documenting the work of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (→STURP), populariser of knowledge about the Shroud of Turin primarily as founder of the oldest and largest website dedicated to the Shroud, and the Shroud of Turin Education and Research Association, Inc., STERA.
He was born on 12 September 1946 in Pittsburgh, US, the son of Nathan Schwortz and Florence T. (Rosenfeld) Black. His mother, who came from the village of Wisznice (now in the Lublin Province, near the border with Belarus), emigrated to the USA before the II World War. Barrie M. Schwortz served in the Navy from 1965 to 1969. In 1971, he graduated from the Brooks Institute of Photography in California with a Bachelor of Art in photographic illustration.
He was also employed at this university from 1975 to 1985, teaching his own course “Principles of Applied Business for Professional Photographers.” During this time, Vernon Miller was the professor in charge of the scientific and industrial photography programme at the Institute, with whom Schwortz participated in the study of the Shroud of Turin. B.M. Schwortz’s professional career began earlier, however, when he had set up his own photographic studio in Santa Barbara, operating from 1971 to 1985 and focusing on commercial and advertising photography and technical illustration. In 1978, he founded Educational Video, Inc. in that city, producing videos for 10 years. After moving to Los Angeles in 1985, he continued this business at Barrie Schwortz Productions. Many award-winning home videos came out at that time. Among others, he was the publisher and post-production manager of the 17th episode of the Disney series Rocky and Bullwinkle (silver medal for Best Children’s Video at the 1992 International Film and Video Festival), co-producer, director and publisher of Money, History in Your Hands (annual Parent’s Choice Video award in 1995 and Silver Screen Award at the 1996 International Film and Video Festival). He has received awards for his photographic work on several occasions, including the visual communication magazine Art Direction and The Art Directors Club in San Francisco and New York. From 1987 to 2001, he was an independent consultant in medical imaging at the research and development laboratory at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He has been involved in the innovative use of photography, video, high-speed cinematography and microscopy in medical research projects for many universities, hospitals and medical equipment factories. He has prepared hundreds of presentations (slides and video), including programmes to teach new surgical techniques using lasers, and he has developed two digital imaging protocols for clinical trials approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, with his company serving as the reference laboratory for one of these protocols. Presentations prepared by B.M. Schwortz have been shown at numerous medical scientific conferences and in many US public institutions. From 1998 to 2003, he co-authored published presentations at medical conferences in the field of digital imaging. Barrie Schwortz was married to Erin J. Gallant (currently divorced) and has a son David Henry. He enjoys fishing, reads a lot, plays the guitar playing and collects stamps. He lives in Florissant, Colorado.
In 1977, he was included in the team of the →STURP research project and, as an official photographer, documented the research carried out in October 1978 in Turin. The colour photographs he took of the Shroud and its fragments, and of the scientists during the experiments were for more than twenty years the best illustrative source used by generations of researchers (starting with scientific papers published by his colleagues in the →STURP team) and popularisers of the knowledge about the Shroud. The photographs he took were featured in countless press articles discussing the results of STURP’s research, including those in prestigious American magazines (National Geographic Magazine, Time, Life, Harper’s Magazine, Science 84, Newsweek), the German Bunte and the Japanese Quark Magazine. His statements, as well as his photographs, have been featured on CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News, BBC television programmes and on documentary channels (including The Learning Channel, History Channel, Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel, Channel 1 Russia) and on Vatican Radio. Most of the books on the Shroud of Turin published around the world since the 1980s have used photographs taken in Turin by B.M. Schwortz as illustrations. In 1996, just as the STURP project was coming to an end, B.M. Schwortz set up the website shroud.com, which he continues to maintain, collecting information from all over the world relating to the Shroud and its research. He posts here the latest conference and publication news reviews, the full texts of many scientific articles and photographs, and carries on a lively correspondence with many sindologists around the world. He stays in close contact with his STURP colleagues, especially R. Rogers: he published excerpts from a paper Rogers was preparing on his site, and after Rogers’s death compiled and published them in the 2008 book A Chemist’s Perspective on the Shroud of Turin. Joan Rogers, widow of R. Rogers, who was also part of the STURP support team and was present during the Turin study, donated all the tapes of the samples her husband had taken from the surface of the Shroud to B.M. Schwortz after her husband’s death. In January 2010, he founded the aforementioned educational and research non-profit association STERA, to which he donated his website, a collection of photographic images and other materials, including the original samples taken by R. Rogers. These are made available to scientists for further research once a detailed project has been submitted and approved by the STERA management, with the proviso that the samples are not destroyed (e.g. →Giulio Fanti and colleagues studied the remains of blood and creatinine-iron complex on loaned fibres from the Shroud; cf. →Blood on the Turin Shroud). Schwortz has been involved in popularising knowledge about the Shroud for many years, speaking as an expert and giving numerous lectures in various countries around the world, including in 2012 in several locations in Poland. Remaining true to his Jewish tradition, he said at a time that, as an expert in photographic techniques, he cannot explain how the image on the Shroud was created, but he was convinced of its authenticity, which, in his opinion, was confirmed in particular by the bright red traces of blood with an admixture of bilirubin, testifying to the passion of Jesus.
Barrie Marshall Schwortz, [in:] World Biographical Encyclopedia, [on-line:] https://prabook.com/web/barrie_marshall.schwortz/631410 – 22 XII 2021.
Barrie M. Schwortz, 2010, [on-line:] https://www.schwortz.com/bio – 22 XII 2021.
Resume Barrie M. Schwortz, [on-line:] https://www.schwortz.com/resume – 22 XII 2021.
Schwortz B., Górny G., Oblicze prawdy. Żyd, który zbadał Całun Turyński, Rosikon Press, Izabelin–Warszawa 2012, p. 143.
Di Lazzaro P., Murra D., Schwortz B.M., Pattern Recognition After Image Processing of Low-Contrast Images, the Case of the Shroud of Turin, “Pattern Recognition” 2013, Vol. 46, No. 7, pp. 1964-1970, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.patcog.2012.12.010.
Schwortz B.M., Mapping of Research Test-Point Areas on the Shroud of Turin, [in:] IEEE 1982 Proceedings of the International Conference on Cybernetics and Society, October 1982, pp. 538-547, [on-line:] https://www.shroud.com/mapping.htm – 29 VII 2022.
Schwortz B.M., The Role of the Internet in the Future of Shroud Research, [in:] Proceedings of the Third International Shroud Symposium, Turin, 1998, [on-line:] https://www.shroud.com/schwortz.htm – 29 VII 2022.
Schwortzh B.M., The Role of the Internet in Current Shroud Research, [in:] Proceedings of the International Shroud Symposium, Richmond, Virginia USA, 1999, pp. 212–218.
Schwortz B.M., Is the Shroud of Turin a Medieval Photograph? A Critical Examination of the Theory, [in:] Proceedings of the Sindone 2000 International Shroud Symposium, Orvieto, 2000.
Wilson I., Schwortz B., The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence, London 2000, p. 160.
Source of Image