Barbara Jones (1912 - 1978)

Launching of the Holland Submarine No1. at Barrow 1901

SKU: 5616
Watercolour and pencil
11 1/4 x 16 in. (28.5 x 40.5 cm)

Height – 28.5cm
Width – 40.5cm


Abbott & Holder Ltd, London; private collection

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).

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Barbara Jones
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


Barbara Jones (1912 - 1978)
Study for Man and his Senses, c. 1966-71
Barbara Jones (1912 - 1978)
Black Eyes & Lemonade invitation card private view, 1951
Barbara Jones (1912 - 1978)
Hot Air Balloon
Barbara Jones (1912 - 1978)
Mural design for the Royal Post Office, circa 1961
Barbara Jones (1912 - 1978)
Study for Man at Work – a century of technical and social progress, 1961
Barbara Jones (1912 - 1978)
Louis Bleriot flying the English Channel, 1909
Barbara Jones (1912 - 1978)
Launching of the Holland Submarine No1. at Barrow 1901
Barbara Jones (1912 - 1978)
Out in the Hall, 1960
Barbara Jones (1912 - 1978)
The Wind Tunnel – Royal Aircraft Establishment Farnborough, 1944