Barbara Geldermann Hails was born in 1944 in New York City, just at the end of the second world war. She received her bachelor’s degree from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and moved to Maryland to work as a freelance artist starting in 1965. In 1966, she married Robert Louis Hails, and they had two children.
Rather than falling in with the deconstructionist avant-garde movements of her generation, Hails has painted landscapes, still lifes and figures in a realistic style, using pastel on museum board or oil on linen. Her first solo show was held in 1981, and since then her exhibits have included the National Arts Club, the Butler Institute of American Art, the Societe des Pastellistes de France, and the New York Art Expo. In 1983, she was named the Outstanding Artist of the Year by the National League of American Penwomen. She has been elected into the Artist's Equity Association, the Pastel Society of America, and the Maryland Pastel Society. Hails is listed as a notable American artist in Marquis Who’s Who.