Barbara was formally educated in the classics, history and art – a rich background that has enhanced her enduring passion for design. She approaches the creation of interiors with the knowledge that, one day, these spaces will become part of the fabric of history. With an influential voice in today’s dynamic design community, she has built a national reputation for expertise in the restoration of significant historic structures of the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. She is a sought-after lecturer on classical design, equally respected for her scholarly mastery and boundless enthusiasm for the field. Dedicated to lifelong learning, Barbara has received fellowships with distinguished programs for advanced study in England and Italy. Being an inveterate traveler constantly absorbing the aesthetic richness of the world, Barbara inspires her uniquely gifted staff in producing memorable environments expressed in a wide range of styles, always incorporating advances in materials, design and technology.
Barbara graduated cum laude from the University of Chicago with a degree in Ancient History and Religion. Rigorous study of classical archaeology and antiquities paved the way for future exploration of the history of decorative arts and architecture. A longtime professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), she is certified by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) and has earned the Certificate of Classical Architecture from the ICAA. She has extensively pursued further studies in the history of architecture and the decorative arts at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, The Attingham Summer School, University of Pennsylvania, The University of the Arts, The Bard Graduate Center, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Winterthur Museum, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The National Gallery, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art. Her work has been published in such prestigious magazines as Architectural Digest and Period Homes. She has written the foreword to the new edition of Michael Kathrens’ book on the luminary Philadelphia architect Horace Trumbauer, American Splendor. Barbara contributed to David Wren’s definitive history of the fabled Philadelphia estate in his book Ardrossan, and wrote the introduction for a prestigious private collection recently highlighted at Christie’s New York.
Barbara has an ongoing commitment to enriching the education of future design professionals. She serves frequently as a guest critic at Moore College of Art & Design, the Art Institute of Philadelphia, Jefferson University and Drexel University. She has appeared on dozens of national television programs and has been a featured designer in multiple local and national publications. Her numerous awards include twenty-six ASID Design Excellence Awards as well as their “Designer of Distinction Award”, fifteen IDA Design Awards and four ICAA Trumbauer Awards for interior design. Barbara received the AIA Award for Historic Preservation, The Preservation Alliance’s Preservation Achievement Award, CCRA’s Historic Preservation Award, the Award for Residential Design from Preservation Pennsylvania, and was recognized for interior design at the Palladio Awards. She is the secretary of the national board of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA) and was the long-time President of the College of Chapters representing all Chapters nationwide. She serves on the board of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia and is active in many advocacy initiatives. Barbara holds leadership roles at The Philadelphia Museum of Art on curatorial, architectural, and development committees, is a contributing member of The Philadelphia Antique Show, The Franklin Institute, and The Union League of Philadelphia. She holds advisory positions with DesignPhiladelphia and The Athenaeum of Philadelphia and was inducted into the Leaders of Design Council. Barbara has served on the jury for the National Palladio Awards and for the graduate program in Architecture at the University of Notre Dame. Barbara has filmed a video on the life and career of Julian Abele. She is currently working on the Design and Architecture section of Coursera’s new program offering, “Creativity”.