Barbara Jones (artist)

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Barbara Mildred Jones (25 December 1912 – 28 August 1978) was an English artist, writer and mural painter.


Barbara Jones was born in Croydon, Surrey. She attended Coloma Convent Girls' School, and Croydon High School. Subsequently, she attended Croydon School of Art before studying Mural Decoration at the Royal College of Art.

During World War II Jones was associated with the Recording Britain project of the Pilgrim Trust while the War Artists' Advisory Committee also purchased a work by her.[1] Postwar, Jones created murals for the 1946 Britain Can Make It exhibition, the 1947 Enterprise Scotland exhibition, and for the 1951 Festival of Britain exhibition.[2] She also worked for P&O, creating murals for the passenger liner ships SS Orcades, SS Oronsay, SS Orsova and SS Oriana, as well as for hotels, restaurants, exhibitions and schools.

Jones also worked on the children's television series The Woodentops. Most of the works, because of the nature of where they were created, have now disappeared. However many books containing her artwork remain, in the form of dust-jackets and illustrations.

In 1951 Barbara organised Black Eyes and Lemonade, a Festival of Britain related exhibition of popular and traditional art at the Whitechapel Gallery.[3]

Jones was a Fellow of the Society of Industrial Artists (SIA), editing the society's journal from 1951-1953. In 1969 she was made the society's Vice-President. She was also a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute and a member of the Society of Authors.

She was said to belong to that group of Royal College of Art artists and illustrators, more well-known than she, who were her contemporaries: John Piper, Edward Bawden, Eric Ravilious and Edward Ardizzone. When she was at Croydon High School she made friends with a girl called Joyce Drew who later became architect and town planner Jane Drew, and it seems they influenced each other in their careers: Jane said they stayed friends.

She married the artist Clifford Barry[4] whom she had met while at the Royal College of Art. The marriage did not last long and they did not have any children.

In 1999 the Katharine House Gallery in Marlborough held a sale of her studio works.


  • Jones, Barbara: The Isle of Wight illustrated and described by Barbara Jones, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1950.
  • Jones, Barbara: Follies and Grottoes, London: Constable & Co., 1953.
  • Jones, Barbara: English Furniture at a glance written and illustrated by Barbara Jones, London: Architectural Press, 1954.
  • Jones, Barbara: Water-Colour Painting, London: Adam & Charles Black, 1960.
  • Jones, Barbara: The Unsophisticated Arts, London: Architectural Press, 1951.
  • Braybrooke, June & Jones, Barbara: Isobel English, London: Max Parrish & Co., 1964.
  • Jones, Barbara: Design for Death, London: Andre Deutsch, 1967.
  • Jones, Barbara: Twit and Howlet and the Balloon, London: Longman Young Books, 1970.
  • Jones, Barbara & Howell, Bill: Popular Arts of the First World War, London: Studio Vista, 1972. Review
  • Jones, Barbara & Ouellette, William: Erotic Postcards, London: Macdonald & Jane's Publishers, 1977.

Notes, references and sources[edit]

  1. ^ Imperial War Museum. "Correspondence with artists, Barbara Jones". Imperial War Museum. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  2. ^ "Barbara Jones archives". University of Brighton Design Archives. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  3. ^ "Barbara Jones, (Biography)". University of Brighton Design Archives. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  4. ^ Clifford Barry designed posters for London Transport in 1937
  • Barbara Jones at Ash Rare Books Barbara Jones: The B. C. Bloomfield Collection.
  • Bloomfield, B. C., The Life and Work of Barbara Jones. The Private Library. 5th Series. Vol. 2:3. Autumn 1999. Published by The Private Libraries Association, 1999. The Autumn 1999 issue of the periodical contains B. C. Bloomfield's article "The Life and Work of Barbara Jones (1912-1978)", accompanied by his checklist of her books, her illustrations and contributions to books and periodicals, her dust-jackets, her ephemera, with details of her interviews, lithographs, murals, posters and radio broadcasts. Based on his Presidential Lecture to the Association, and with over 60 numbered slides of items in the collection used to illustrate that lecture.

External links[edit]