Out in the Hall by Barbara Jones (1912-1978), was one of the stars of the recent Fine Art Society murals exhibition (linked to our campaign and conference). It thought our blog format was going to cut the bear, who lurks in the hall, off the image above, (top right), which I rather liked–but he’s back. I love Barbara Jones’s work, and there are now two chances to see more. Brighter & Lighter Barbara Jones – Art & Design, runs from, June 5th – 16th at Burgh House, Hampstead, and the Whitechapel has Black Eyes & Lemonade: Curating Popular Art’, until 1st September.
Brighter & Lighter is a selling exhibition, mainly drawn from her own collection,and includes a sketch for the mural in the St James Park Cake House (sadly no more), plus her reworking of the Architectural Review masthead. The Whitechapel show celebrates the exhibition of folk art she curated for them as part of the Festival of Britain (and has a study day on June 14th). 1951 was a busy year for Jones: she also published ‘The Unsophisticated Arts’, a landmark appreciation of vernacular English culture, and completed several murals for the Festival. She was versatile, well organised and very productive. I’ve also just got “On Trust for the Nation” by Clough Williams Ellis, 1947, one of many books illustrated by her: more on that later.