Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Alaina Kanfer  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1962 in Chicago, Illinois

-- Facebook --!/alaina.kanfer=alaina+kanfer
-- Website --
-- Alaina Kanfer on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Kanfer grew up in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Kanfer graduated from Northwestern University and received her doctorate in mathematical social sciences from the University of California, Irvine.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Barns of Illinois
ISBN: 0252032748

University of Illinois Press. 2009

As a state abounding with broad farmlands, Illinois has depended heavily on its barns. At once imposing and humble, the barns of Illinois are much more than simply a place to store equipment and livestock. As gathering places for friends and family, they have become focal points of local communities, an enduring link between the present day and the traditions of the past. With these iconic structures as our guideposts, we find our way across the open landscape of the geography and history of the Midwest.

In this magnificent new collection, renowned photographer Larry Kanfer documents the diversity of barns throughout the Prairie State, from weathered, abandoned shelters in the countryside to proudly well-preserved landmarks featured in barn tours and even Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo. Kanfer presents barns from every angle, inside and out, from a distance and up close, to capture the many reasons why they fascinate, inspire, and reassure.

With engaging prose, Alaina Kanfer recounts the histories of many of the barns featured, revealing each barn's unique character and tracing its distinctive imprint on the land and on people's lives. While many of the buildings continue to function within family farms for storage and shelter, others have been rescued and restored and put to a wide array of new uses, such as schools and gymnasiums in Kane and Effingham Counties, an animal rescue organization in McLean County, a winery in St. Clair County, and workshops in Sangamon and Union Counties.

With more than one hundred full color photographs of dozens of barns from across the state, Barns of Illinois presents these proud emblems of the heartland as never before--a unique chronicle of a state and its evolving way of life.

Illini Loyalty: The University of Illinois
ISBN: 0252035003

University of Illinois Press. 2011

Acclaimed Prairiescapes photographer Larry Kanfer presents his alma mater in his newest book as only he can. Through the eyes of an artist attuned to the details of place and space, Kanfer reveals the familiar vistas and landmarks that make the University of Illinois a special place for tens of thousands of students and alumni each year.
A proud graduate of the University of Illinois himself, Kanfer shows the Urbana-Champaign campus from the North Quad to the South Farms, capturing campus events, iconic buildings, and architectural details from inside and outside. Crowds roar as they cheer on the Fighting Illini in Memorial Stadium and Assembly Hall, and undergrads share a quiet moment between classes at the Illini Union. Kanfer's images convey the character of the school throughout the seasons, from the bloom of spring to winter's blanketing snows. The images illustrate the splendor of the university's academic buildings and the grandeur of its libraries, its intimate corners and vaulted lecture halls, its museums and residence halls.
Accompanying text by Alaina Kanfer guides readers through the campus scenes, providing the history and lore of landmarks such as Lorado Taft's Alma Mater sculpture, the venerable Morrow Plots, the Altgeld Hall bell tower, and more than a century's worth of class gifts that embellish the campus landscape. The Kanfers also commemorate notable people in the university's history, highlight newer additions to the campus such as the Siebel Center for Computer Science and the ACES Library, and celebrate long-standing traditions including Homecoming, Illini sports, graduation, and Quad Day.
A must-have for students, graduates, parents, and fans, Illini Loyalty memorably conveys the University of Illinois' spirit of education, innovation, and pride, and every page is infused with Larry Kanfer's fierce devotion to the Urbana-Champaign campus.

ISBN: 0252034996

University of Illinois Press. 2014

Opening Chicagoscapes places the reader amid the breathtaking grandeur and warm humanity of one of the world's great cities, a metropolis both lavish with its pleasures and as hard as weathered steel, a prairie-bound Oz that demands commitment from those seeking its truths.

Larry Kanfer and native Chicagoan Alaina Kanfer have captured authentic moments that invite the viewer into pocket universes achieved in collaboration between an acclaimed photographic artist and the living world. From the deep blues of Lake Michigan to imposing winter cityscapes, from awe-inspiring skyscrapers to corner hot dog joints, and from the lakefront chess obsessives to Maxwell Street's indefatigable vendors, Larry Kanfer brings the mesmerizing sensibility acclaimed in his collections Prairiescapes and On Firm Ground to illuminate the subtleties of mood and forces of nature that make Chicago a city unlike any other.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (No)