I have presented more than 50 lectures on the history of architecture for the University of Minnesota’s Continuing Education, the Hennepin County Library, the Chicago Art Institute, the Linden Hills History Study Group, the Plank Institute, Elk River Schools Continuing Education, and numerous other organizations. I have presented papers at conferences of the Society of Architectural Historians (2009), and the Walter Burley Griffin Society (2012), and the Midwest Art History Society (2015). For a list of lectures I have presented, click here.

Following are brief descriptions of some of the fully illustrated lectures I can bring to your organization.

“Frank Lloyd Wright: A Portrait of Genius”
Shows how Wright’s architecture was a reflection of his brilliant -- but also problematic -- mind, providing perspective not only on the famous architect and his innovative ideas, but also on the nature of highly gifted people in general.

Frank Lloyd Wright: Heurtley house, 1902
“Purcell & Elmslie: Spiritual Place-Making”
William Purcell and George Elmslie were the second-most prolific Prairie School architects after Frank Lloyd Wright. In this lecture, I explain their spiritually-oriented philosophy of architecture and how they expressed their spiritual ideas in their architecture.

Purcell & Elmslie: Purcell-Cutts house, 1912-15
“The Roots of the Arts & Crafts and Prairie School: John Ruskin’s Six Precepts of Architecture”
This lecture explores the history and philosophy behind the Arts & Crafts and Prairie School movements by focusing on six rules for architecture stated by John Ruskin, the most influential architecture critic of the 19th century.

Charles Voysey: G. Voysey house, London 1897
“What Style is That House? Historic Home Styles Explained!”
This lecture describes the 20 most important architectural styles of the 19th and early 20th-centuries and answers these questions: Why were there so many styles? Who originated the styles? Why did the architects want to create new styles? What were their goals? What are the key characteristics that we can focus on to correctly identify home styles?

Wm. Kenyon: Gluek house, Minneapolis, 1902
“The Long Reach of Renaissance Architecture”
In this lecture, I begin by explaining why the major cultural change called The Renaissance occurred when it did (14th to 17th centuries) and where it did (Italy). Then I explain the Classical architecture designed by the most consequential Renaissance architects: Brunelleschi, Bramante, Michelangelo, Palladio, and Scamozzi -- and show how their ideas influenced Western architecture for the next 300 years.

Andrea Palladio: Palazzo Chiericati,
Vicenza, Italy, 1550-1680
“The Architecture of Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin in the US and Australia”
In this lecture, in part based on my four research trips to Australia between 1987 and 1990, I present the architecture and planning of the innovative Griffins, who worked in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Oak Park studio. Then I show how, in 1912, the Griffins won the competition to design Canberra, the new Australian capital, and how they became known as some of Australia’s greatest architects.

Walter Burley Griffin: Melson house, Mason City, IA, 1912
“Architectural Politics: Conservative Classicism vs. Liberal Arts & Crafts”
This lecture looks at the two major and opposing forces in architectural theory and design from the Renaissance through the 20th century: Classicism and The Arts & Crafts. After tracing the roots of these two movements, I illustrate how the two were artistic expressions of opposite political viewpoints: conservatism and liberalism.

Georgian Revival (Mpls.) — Arts & Crafts (St. Peter, MN)
“The Six Mill Sites on Minnehaha Creek”
Today, Minnehaha Creek is a beautiful urban amenity — a jewel in the crown of Minneapolis and suburban parks. But before 1897, when the first dam was built where the creek flows out of Lake Minnetonka, it was truly a river and was powerful enough to drive multiple mill sites. Along with the histories of the six mill sites, I tell the stories of people who built, ran, and worked at those mills.

Minnetonka Mills, 1876