In 1985, a serendipitous visit to an estate sale and subsequent purchase of forty garden statues led Barbara Israel to found Barbara Israel Garden Antiques. After 36 years in business, she is recognized as an authority on the subject. Her exhaustively researched book, Antique Garden Ornament: Two Centuries of American Taste is the definitive work in the field. Israel is also the author of A Guide to Buying Antique Garden Ornament, a user-friendly handbook packed with tips on conservation, identification, and more. She has served as a consultant to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Institution for their collections of nineteenth- century cast iron, and she has sold pieces to the Winterthur Museum, Smithsonian Institution, and Baltimore Museum of Art, as well as to many important private collectors. As an active board member of the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy, Barbara is devoted to preserving historic gardens and their antique garden ornament.