Liss Llewellyn Fine Art - 20th Century British Art

Barbara Jones (1912-1978)   BIOGRAPHY

Shelf and Mirror: sketch for m
Framed (ref: 69)
Gouache, signed in pencil, 10 x 16 in. (25.5 x 40.5 cm.)


Between 1948 and 1960 Jones was commissioned to produce murals by P&O for four cruise liners: S.S. Orcades, S.S. Oronsay, S.S. Orsova and S.S. Oriana. This witty trompe l'oil, for the Tavern Bar of the S.S. Orsova, dates to the period of her two most celebrated books, The Unsophisticated Arts (1951) and Follies and Grottoes (1953). Graduating from the Royal College of Art, Barbara Jones belongs to that distinctive group of artists and illustrators of whom Bawden, Ravilious, Piper and Ardizzone are the best known.

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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