Barbara connects our amazing landscape heritage to our modern-day needs and interests with enthusiasm, knowledge, and expertise. As a professional speaker and landscape historian, Barbara engages her audiences with scholarly research presented with humor and the flow of good storytelling. Her presentations come alive no matter where she is speaking—in classrooms, auditoriums, offices, and even columbariums (the permanent residents made no comment).
Barbara is Adjunct Professor in the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where she has taught landscape history for ten years. She has also taught for ten years at the Chicago Botanic Garden, has served as adjunct faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the University of Chicago Graham School, and elsewhere. A popular tour leader in the Art Institute of Chicago Member Travel program, she offers several day-long tours each year, including “Inside The Devil in the White City” a perennial favorite, and was the tour study leader for AIC’s “Private Villas, Gardens, and Art Collections of the Italian Lakes District” and “ A Springtime Voyage from New England to Montreal” in spring 2012.
Barbara published Low-Key Genius: The Life and Work of Landscape-Gardener O.C. Simonds, the first full-length biography of this significant early designer, in 2011. And she has given 60 presentations in the past year on the how an estate like Downton Abbey came to be!