Barbara Tomlinson, Ph.D.


Cultural History Lectures and Tours



My lectures discuss major works of Western art from a cultural perspective, situating each work or artist in the environment that resulted in its creation.  The objective is to explore how and why art is produced and to enhance the experience of observation.  Since reproduced images can never replicate the actual work, talks are often designed to focus on works that are reasonably accessible.  I would hope by the end of each session everyone would be eager to go see for themselves.  To that end trips to major museums and collections are also sometimes organized.  A list of upcoming lectures open to the public, and a partial list of available lectures is on the Lectures page.  The fee per lecture is contingent on the particular circumstances, but is usually $300 per session.

Day Tours

These consist of trips to museums or other sites of cultural interest that can be visited in a single day.  These are perfect for groups wanting a private docent for an exhibition or location.

About me

I have been a history teacher all my life, beginning in sixth grade and retiring from Kean University.  Twenty five years ago I was asked to pick up an Advanced Placement Art History class for a retiring high school teacher, and discovered a new passion.  At Kean I helped develop a course in Western Cultural History that introduced students to a world most of them had ignored.  Taking Kean University freshmen to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for their first time and having them come home excited and vowing to “take their mothers there” was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

An additional reward, now that I am retired from Kean, has been sharing my passion for painting with audiences of fellow seniors (and spending time with my grandsons.)

Facilities that the sponsoring organization needs to provide

For all of our presentations we use digital images, and the sponsoring organization is responsible for providing a digital projector in the presentation venue.  We will bring our laptop computer, loaded with a PowerPoint file of the images for the presentation. 

  • ·         Our laptop is running Windows 7.  It has an HDMI output for connection the the projector, and we have an adapter that can convert the HDMI output to a VGA output.  We have a 25’ VGA cable and a 25' HDMI cable to connect the laptop to the projector, which needs to be compatible with our computer.  The computer is just providing images, so it does not need to be connected to a PA system.
  • ·         There needs to be a screen, or blank wall, suitable for a reasonably large image from the projector, and it needs to be possible to darken the room sufficiently to make the images very visible.
  • ·         We need a podium or table for the laptop, preferably to the side of the screen, and with electrical power closely available.  We do have a podium light if necessary to be able to read our script.
  •       In most cases we need an microphone and a PA system
  • ·         Please confirm at least a few days before the presentation that the required facilities will be available.
  • ·         The PowerPoint file for a typical 1-hr lecture is about 25 MB, and is too large for email systems.
  • ·         In the unlikely event that our computer cannot connect to the projector, we also have a CD with the PowerPoint file, which can be used if the venue has a computer that can connect to the projector.  (Over many years this has only happened once.)

At least a few days before the presentation, please provide us with a contact phone number that we can use on the day of the event, if we are encountering delays in getting to the venue, and may be arriving after the scheduled start time. 

Our web site, www.BarbaraTomlinson.com , includes a listing of upcoming lectures that are open to the general public.  Please let us know if you would like us to post the presentation(s) for your organization on the web site, and let us know what contact or reservation information we should include for potential attendees.

Subpages (1): Lectures