Looking a gift book in the mouth

A short Barbara Jones announcement for all of you who, like me, think that she deserves more recognition.  At last it seems to be happening.  Not only is the Black Eyes and Lemonade exhibition running at the Whitechapel until September, but now Jennings Fine Art are holding a selling exhibition of her work at the start of next month.  Including lovely things like this.

Barbara Jones gift book artwork neil jennings

It even comes with a caption:

Barbara JonesThe Gift Book

Watercolour and pen & ink, 1964. Original artwork for the front and rear covers of the book co-written with Isobel English. Extensively annotated by the artist. Reference: Artmonsky A6, illustrated p.129.

Provenance: The artist’s studio. 

I have no idea what it will cost, mind you.  Annoyingly, I can only find a teeny-tiny image of what the finished product looked like .

Barbara Jones gift book cover

This comes from the very useful Barbara Jones page at Ash Rare Books, which, by some oversight, I don’t think I’ve pointed out before.

There are more nice things in the exhibition too.  Here’s another.

Barbara Jones watercolour of horse on beach

 Seaside Pony & Cart

Watercolour.  Studio stamp verso.  Provenance: The artist’s studio.

James Russell has also posted, very interestingly, about Barbara Jones.  Mostly I will let you go and read it yourself, but there are two interesting facts in it that are worth repeating.

One is that Little Toller books are publishing a new edition of her book The Unsophisticated Arts, which you can read about here.  To my consternation, it includes additional drawings, ephemera and other material from her studio, which means that we’re going to have to buy it, despite having an original copy already.

The other, related fact is that her studio is, apparently, still extant.

Her studio has remained largely untouched since her death; most of the artwork has gone, but her sketchbooks and ephemera remain.  We spent hundreds of hours cleaning up the images and making them good for publication. it was a joy to work on because you look so closely at every single image and you see each page in a new way.

I’m boggled.  How has it survived and who is looking after it?  More to the point, I want to go and see it.  Now.

The selling exhibition, meanwhile, is from 5-9 and 12-17 June at the Peggy Gay Gallery, Burgh House, Hampstead.  Apparently Barbara Jones’s studio looked out onto Burgh House.

Barbara Jones sketch

 Mural Design for the Cake House, St James’s Park

A series of watercolour, gouache, pencil and pen & ink drawings, c.1969.  The New Cake House was opened by Mrs. Harold Wilson on 23/2/70.  The mural, constructed in ceramic tiles by Richard Parkinson, depicts the George III Jubilee celebrations held in the park in 1840.  We would like to thank Anthony Raymond and English Heritage for their assistance in cataloguing this work.  Provenance:  The artist’s studio.

Reference: Artmonsky pp.109-110; English Heritage Archive. (please note that this is only one drawing from the series)

I know I said that she deserves more recognition so I ought to be pleased about this, and for the most I am.  But at the same time, a small part of me minds that someone who I feel I stumbled upon by accident, along with a few others, is now becoming mainstream.  Still, I am sure Barbara Jones herself would have been very pleased, she was a fan of the popular after all.  So I will try to be pleased as well.

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4 Comments

  1. Posted May 23, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the link – looks like it will be a fascinating show. As you say, no clue about prices…

  2. crownfolio
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Thank you very much yourself. Apparently the price list isn’t entirely fixed yet. I suspect that I can’t afford it anyway…

  3. emptytosidings
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Yes good that she is getting the recognition she deserves but as with Roland Collins expect prices to soar….

  4. crownfolio
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    That’s it exactly. Perhaps I should go back and try to buy the bear mural after all…

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