Barbara Kes Farnham, who grew up in Ridgewood, NJ, started painting at the age of 15. Within four years, she was invited to show several paintings at the Ridgewood Art Assoc. and soon was winning awards for her portraits, still-life and landscapes. She studied with a number of local and New York artists and attended Syracuse University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude from the School of Fine Arts in Painting and Illustration. She was elected a member of Tau Sigma Delta, Architecture and Allied Arts Honorary. After graduating from Syracuse, she worked as an artist for Norcross, Inc. in New York City. This was followed by freelance commercial illustration, including watercolor and pen and ink drawings for several books.
Early in her career, she did a series of religious murals for the West Side Presbyterian Church in Ridgewood and also painted the portrait of "Laura" for the Bergen County Players production of the play of that name. She taught painting classes and became manager at the Ridgewood Art Association. She is also a past president of the Delaware Valley Artists. Her paintings are in collections both here and abroad, including that of Ann Miller of "Sugar Babies" and her painting "Sheep in the Meadow", a Kingwood scene, at the Justice Center in Flemington, NJ.
In 1953, Barbara Kes married Alexander Farnham and they moved to Kingwood Township, where they reside and have their studio. She has worked with her husband on his books of art and antique tools, editing and doing layouts and mechanicals. She has authored and illustrated two books: Sheep - Let Nature Be Your Guide and Kingwood Township of Yesteryear. In addition Barbara designs wool crafts, many of them using wool from her own sheep.