Liss Llewellyn Fine Art - 20th Century British Art

Barbara Jones (1912-1978)   BIOGRAPHY

Louis Bleriot flying the English Channel, 1909
Framed (ref: 5617)
Signed, inscribed verso, 
pencil and watercolour,
each 28cm by 40cm.


Provenance: Abbott & Holder Ltd, London; private collection
Literature: Ruth Artmonsky, A Snapper Up of Unconsidered Trifles, 2008  p115

This watercolour was produced for the series of A Half Century of Progress, commissioned by the Financial Times in 1950.  Jones reputation as a watercolourist was  already secure, having been one of the most admired - and certainly most prolific of the contributors to the Recording Britain project.  A letter from Kenneth Clark to Barbara announcing the end of Recording Britain (17th Sept. 1943) praises her role: I can sincerely say that you are one of the people who has most contributed to its success, not only by painting well, but by choosing such interesting subjects, and the sad part (from our point of view) is that each batch of drawings you sent in was better than the last.  I meant to write and tell you how much I admired the Euston Pylon..." (quoted in Barbara Jones, Ruth Artmonksy, p 37).

Barbara Jones (1912-1978)

Painter, designer, illustrator and author, born in Croydon, Surrey, she first studied art at her local art school under Isabel Wrightson, 1931-1933, before gaining a scholarship to RCA, 1933-1936, where she studied under Ravilious, Bawden and Charles Mahoney, in the mural painting school. She was a distinctive landscape painter and one of the strongest contributors to the World War II Pilgrim Trust Recording Britain project. She wrote and illustrated books on design history, on subjects including Grottoes and Follies, The Isle of Wight, and The Unsophisticated Arts. She also designed murals - for the Commonwealth Institute, London, and Cheshire County Police Headquarters - and was a member of the Society of Mural Painters. She was responsible for the Whitechapel Gallery exhibition Black Eyes and Lemonade in 1951. In the same year she was heavily involved in the Festival of Britain, designing murals and mosaic, and produced her seminal book The Unsophisticated Arts. She was married to the painter Cliff Barry, whom she met at the Royal College, but of whom little is known. He was however responsible for designing the cover of his wife's first book, The Isle of Wight. A retrospective exhibition was held at Katharine House Gallery, Marlborough, in 2000.

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