Jones, Barbara

(1912 – 1978)

The Wind Tunnel - Royal Aircraft Establishment Farnborough, 1944

Signed and dated 1944

Titled on the reverse and stamped with a Press Censorship Bureau pass
Watercolour
22 x 14 in. (56 x 35.5 cm)

DESCRIPTION

Provenance:
Private collection

Exhibited: WW2 – War Pictures by British Artists, Morley College London, 28 October -23 November 2016, cat 62. 
Literature: WW2 – War Pictures by British Artists, Edited by Sacha Llewellyn & Paul Liss, July 2016, cat 62, page 99.


This composition is closely related to one of Jones Recording Britain watercolours in the collection of the V&A.


And another watercolour in the collection of RAF Hendon:



There is no record of how Jones, still in her twenties, became involved in the Recording Britain Scheme but she was one of the first artist’s to be commissioned and its most prolific contributor.

 

Recording Britain was the brainchild of Sir Kenneth Clark, who saw it as an extension of the Official War Artist scheme. By choosing watercolour painting as the medium of record, Clark hoped that the scheme would also help to preserve this characteristic English art form.  

Recording Britain was intended to boost national morale by celebrating the country’s natural beauty and architectural heritage, but it was also a memorial to the war effort itself. The earliest pictures show the landscapes of southern England which were under immediate threat from bomb damage and invasion; in due course the remit was expanded to include those landscapes, buildings and ways of life that were vulnerable to the destructive forces of progress’ ‚Äì urban expansion, housing developments, road-building and so on. 

The scheme employed several women, notably Barbara Jones and Enid Marx. Both were fascinated by English popular art ‚Äì everything from fairgrounds and follies to topiary and inn signs ‚Äì and both continued to record these ‘unsophisticated arts’ after the war.

Works for Recording Britain, which numbered over 1500 watercolours, were widely exhibited during the war years.  In 1949 the Pilgrim Trust gave them to the V&A. 

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THE ARTIST

Jones, Barbara

1912 – 1978

Barbara Jones first attended art school in Croydon (1931’33) before
winning a scholarship to the Royal College of Art (1933’36), where
she met painter Cliff Barry whom she married in 1941.

A prolific and varied artist, during WWII she worked with
the Pilgrim Trust on the Recording Britain series, making one of
the largest contributions of the 63 artists taking part. She wrote
and illustrated books on design history, many of which are today
considered seminal, including The Unsophisticated Arts, 1951 and
Design for Death, 1967.

In 1951, she organised the Black Eyes and Lemonade: Curating
Popular Art
exhibition held at the Whitechapel Gallery for the Festival
of Britain. A fellow of the Society of Industrial Artists from the same
year, she was made vice president in 1969. She was also a fellow of
the Royal Anthropological Institute and a member of the Society of
Authors. A retrospective exhibition of the contents of her studio was
held at Katharine House Gallery, Marlborough, in 1999.

With thanks to artbiogs.co.uk

MORE PICTURES BY ARTIST

Barbara Jones
Study for Man at Work – a century of technical and social progress, 1961
£2,800.00