Who was Robert Allerton, the creator of the English-style country house, grounds and sculpture park in central Illinois? Author Maureen Holtz will share insights about the life and estates of Allerton, called “Chicago’s Richest Bachelor” by the Chicago Tribune in 1906. The event is Thursday, May 17, at Spurlock Museum of World Cultures at Illinois, 600 S. Gregory St., Urbana. Allerton’s Monticello, Illinois, estate, now owned by the U. of I., is listed as one of the state’s Seven Wonders, and his Kauai, Hawaii, estate, Lawai-Kai, is now a botanical garden.
Holtz’s publishing credits include three nonfiction books and a novel. Two of them revolve around Allerton. The 2009 biography, “Robert Allerton: The Private Man and The Public Gifts,” was co-written with Martha Burgin. Her 2011 follow-up coffee table book is “Allerton’s Paradises.” These were followed in 2013 by her book of archival photographs: “Images of America: Monticello.” Her novel about a unique medical tourism concept, “The Last Resort,” was published in August 2014.
The program is part of the Third Thursday Series and is held in conjunction with Spurlock Museum’s temporary exhibit “Knowledge at Work: The University of Illinois at 150.” The exhibit explores the history of the campus as a community of educators, researchers and students engaged in learning, research and public service. The exhibit runs through Dec. 21.
To request accessibility accommodations, call 217-333-2360.