Belgrave St Ives - Modern & Contemporary Art

W. Barns-Graham CBE

W. Barns-Graham CBE (1912-2004)

Born: St Andrews, Fife

Studied: Edinburgh College of Art 1932-37

Biographical Overview:

After attending Edinburgh College of Art (1932 - 37), Wilhelmina Barns-Graham went to St. Ives in 1940. She quickly became part of the group that included Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth. She was a founder member of the Penwith Society in 1949. She travelled regularly over the next 20 years to Switzerland, Italy, Paris, and Spain. With the exception of a short teaching term at Leeds School of Art (1956-57), and three years in London (1960-63), she lived and worked in St Ives with regular stays in St Andrews where, in 1992, she received an Honorary Doctorate from the University. In 1999, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham was elected an honorary member of the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) and the Royal Scottish Watercolourists (RSW). She also received Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Plymouth and Exeter. In 2001 she was awarded CBE. In 2001 Lund Humphries published a study of her life and work.

Selected Solo Exhibitions:

A Distant Isle: Wilhelmina Barns-Graham in Lanzarote

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: From St Andrews to St Ives. Sep 10-Oct 3.
An exhibition of works spanning 60 years, focusing particularly on the influence of St Ives. The exhibition coincides with a major survey of Barns-Graham's work at Penlee House Gallery & Museum.

Coast to Coast, Bohun Gallery, Henley on Thames.

In Perspective: the Late Paintings, Art First, London.
Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Prints, Leyden Gallery, London.

A Different Way of Working. The Prints of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Dick Institute, Kilmarnock, touring to Scott Art Gallery, Hawick Museum.
Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: the Late Prints 1998-2004, ART@47, Pittenweem, Fife.
Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: The Printed Image, 108 Fine Art, Harrogate

Centenary Year celebrating artist's birth.
Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: a Scottish artist in St Ives, Fleming Collection, London and City Art Centre Edinburgh.
Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: a Line of Drawing 1943-1993, Art First, London.
A Joy of Colour: late prints and paintings by Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Watermill Gallery, Aberfeldy.
Wilhelmina Barns-Graham; from St Andrews to St Ives, 108 Fine Art, Harrogate.
A Different Way of Working. The Prints of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Inverness. Museum & Art Gallery and tour to St Fergus Gallery, Wick; Iona Gallery, Kingussie; Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries.
A St Andrews Modernist. Paintings, Drawings & Prints by Wilhelmina Barns-Graham 1912-2004, Fraser Gallery, St Andrews.
Wilhelmina Barns-Graham - Collector's Choice, Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh.
An Artist in St Ives: paintings & Drawings by Wilhelmina Barns-Graham 1912-2004, Belgrave Gallery, St Ives.
Drawn to Colour: Prints and Drawings by Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Shirley Crowther Art at The Jointure Studio, Ditchling, Sussex.

Colour as Celebration, Prints and Paintings, Bohun Gallery, Henley on Thames.
St Ives Moderns, Belgrave Gallery, St Ives.
Scottish Art 1650-2010: Work from the City's Collection, City Art Centre, Edinburgh.

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham - On Growth and Form, Paintings and Drawings 1950-2002, Tower Building, University of Dundee (as part of the 150th D'Arcy Thomson Anniversary).
Relief Collages 1982-1987, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh.

A Discipline of the Mind - The Drawings of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham,
Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Orkney, and tour to Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds (2009); Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery (2011); Burton Art Gallery and Museum, Bideford, North Devon (2012); Perth Art Gallery & Museum (2012).

Order and Disorder: Paintings 1965-1980, Art First, London.
ZOOM: Looking Back/Looking Forward, Art First, London.

Art First, London.
The Legacy of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: Paintings and Drawings 1938-2003 in the Collection of The Barns-Graham Charitable Trust, Art London Art Fair (Invited Charity).
An Adventure in Printmaking, Bohun Gallery, Henley on Thames.
Tom Caldwell Gallery, Belfast (Prints).
Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh (Prints).
The Art of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, David Krut Projects, New York.

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: Important Works from her Career, Art First, London.
Late Prints and Small Painting, Dorse Gallery, South Petherton, Somerset.

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: Movement and Light Imag(in)ing Time', Tate Gallery St Ives.

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham - A Celebration at 90, Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh.

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: A Tribute from Art First, Art First, London.

W. Barns-Graham: Painting as Celebration, Crawford Art Centre, St Andrews, travelling to Aberdeen Art Gallery; Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro; Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield; City Art Gallery and Museum, York; Peter Scott Gallery, Lancaster University; Ferens Art Gallery, Kingston upon Hull; Lillie Art Gallery, Milngavie, Harwick.

W. Barns Graham Prints, Exeter University.

An Enduring Image, Tate Gallery, St. Ives.#

The McGeary Gallery, Brussels

The New Millennium Gallery, St. Ives

The National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh1996
The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

Art First, London

Drawing 1945 - 1960, Art First, London
The Wolf at the Door, Penzance

W. Barns- Graham at 80, William Jackson Gallery, London, touring to Lillie Art Gallery, Milngavie; Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal; Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter; Dundee Art Galleries and Museum, Dundee; Wakefield Art Gallery, Wakefield

Crawford Art Centre, St Andrews
The Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro

Retrospective exhibition, touring: Newlyn Art Gallery, Penzance, City Art Centre Edinburgh; Perth Museum and Art Gallery; Crawford Art Centre, St. Andrews

Scottish Gallery, London

Ancrum Gallery, Roxburghshire

Gillian Jason Gallery, London

The Pier Arts Centre, Orkney

The Crawford Centre, St Andrews
Henry Rothschild Exhibition, Germany

LYC Museum and Art Gallery, Cumbria
The Byre Theatre, St Andrews

The New Art Centre, London

Wills Lane Gallery, St Ives

Marjorie Parr Gallery, London

Sheviock Gallery, Cornwall
Park Square Gallery, Leeds

Richard De Marco Gallery, Edinburgh
The Bear Lane Gallery, Oxford

City Art Gallery, Wakefield

Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

Roland, Browse and Delbanco, London

Redfern Gallery, London

Downing Gallery, St. Ives, Cornwall
Selected Group Exhibitions


Delineations: Drawings at Art First, Art First, London.
A Scottish Selection: Paintings from the Fleming Collection, Jerwood Gallery, Hastings.
St Ives Connections: Wilhelmina Barns-Graham with Roger Hilton, John Wells and Bryan Winter, Art First, London.

A Survey of Works from 1945-1995, Art First at Art London Art Fair.
Modern Masters III, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh.
Modern British & St Ives Exhibition, Belgrave Gallery, St Ives.
Scottish Art Today, Bohun Gallery, Henley on Thames.
Modern British Heroines, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh.
Rhythms of Land and Sea: an Exhibition Celebrating Orkney, in recognition of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham's seminal trip to the islands, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh.
No Foreign Land: Landscapes from the Fleming Collection, Fleming Collection, London.
Five from St Ives: Barns-Graham, Berlin, Frost, Hilton & Wells, Belgrave Gallery, St Ives.

Mathematical Beauty: the Science and Art of Form, Gateway Galleries, University of St Andrews.
Artist Prints, Waterhouse & Dodd, London.
Collecting Prints, Bohun Gallery, Henley on Thames.
Forty Years of Fine Art, Bohun Gallery, Henley on Thames.

Scottish Art 1650-2010: Work from the City's Collection, City Art Centre, Edinburgh.

Edge of Abstraction, Mascalls School Gallery, Paddock Wood, Kent.
Artists of St Ives and the South West, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery.
Godrevy Light, National Maritime Museum, Falmouth, Cornwall.
Volcano: Turner to Warhol, Compton Verney, Warwickshire.
Cross Currents in Modern British Art: Part I - English Modernism, The Fine Art Society, London.


The Edinburgh School of Painting, Lemon Street Gallery, Truro, Cornwall.
Collage London/New York, Fred Mann, London.
Society of Scottish Artists Annual, Vision Building, Dundee.
2008-09 Four Scottish Painters: W. Barns-Graham, John Bellany, Alan Davie, Anne Redpath, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh.

Behind Closed Doors: Birmingham's Private Collections from van Dyck to Cornelia Parker, Barber Institute of Arts, University of Birmingham.
Energy in Abstraction: Wilhelmina Barns-Graham/Sandra Blow, Art First, London.
St Ives Moderns, Belgrave Gallery, St Ives.
British Abstract Art 1950-1985, Portland Gallery, London.

The prints of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: A Complete Catalogue, by Ann Gunn, published by Lund Humphries.

Consider the Lilies - Works from Dundee's Twentieth Century Art Collection', Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art 2, Edinburgh, touring to the Fleming Collection, London.

Famous Fifers, St Andrews Museum.

Ben Nicholson and the St Ives School, Permanent Collection Display, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh.
Spoilt for Choice: A Christmas Exhibition , Art First, London


A Critic's Choice (Mel Gooding), Newlyn Art Gallery


Art First in Print , Art First, London
New Work from Scotland , Bohun Gallery, Henley on Thames
Eigse, Carlow Arts Festival, Ireland

Liberation and Tradition - Scottish Art 1875-1963, Aberdeen Art Gallery and McMagnus Gallery, Dundee

Royal Scottish Academy (RSA), Edinburgh
Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour (RSW), Edinburgh

Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, London
Displays 1997-78, Tate St. Ives
Curwen Print Makers , Curwen Gallery, London

Critics Choice , RSW, Edinburgh

Art Miami, International Art Fair, with Art First, London

Porthmeor Beach: A century of Images , Tate St. Ives
100 Years Context & Continuity , Newlyn Art Gallery
A Cornish Midsummer , Royal West of England Academy, in collaboration with Penwith Society William Gear Friends Past and Present, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Painters Prints , Curwen Gallery, London
New Academy Gallery Contemporary Prints , Coach House Gallery, Guernsey

Contemporary Painters and Sculptors from Cornwall , Royal West of England Academy, Bristol
New Beginnings; Postwar British Art, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

St. Ives , Austin/Desmond Fine Art, London

Festival of Fifty-One , Arts Council Collection, touring exhibition
Scottish Drawing ,The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

Scottish Art since 1900 , Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh and on tour to Barbican Art Gallery, London

Post-War British Art , Austin/Desmond Fine Art, London
A Century of Art in Cornwall 1889-1989 , The County Museum and Art Gallery, Truro, Cornwall
Song of the Sea , Dundee Museum and Art Gallery
40 years at the Penwith , Penwith Society, St. Ives
St Ives , Beaux Arts, Bath Festival

Freeing the Spirit, Contemporary Scottish Abstraction, Crawford Arts Centre, St. Andrews

The Experience of Landscape , Arts Council touring exhibition

Aspects of Landscape , SAC touring exhibition
Looking West , Newlyn Art Gallery and the Royal College of Art, London

St Ives , 1939-64, The Tate Gallery, London

Homage to Herbert Read , University of Kent, Canterbury

Art from Cornwall , Galerie Artica, Cuxhaven

Contemporary Art from Scotland , The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

Newlyn Society of Artists , Galerie Artica, Cuxhaven, Germany

Contemporary Art Society Exhibition , Sothebys Edinburgh
St. Ives Summer Festival Exhibition , Penwith Galleries, St. Ives

New Craftsman Gallery, St Ives

Painters in Parallel , SAC (Festival Exhibition)

British Artists of the 60's , The Tate Gallery, London

Wills Lane Gallery , St Ives

Annual Exhibition , Plymouth Society of Art (invited artist)

Helen Sutherland Collection , Arts Council touring exhibition

Painting 1940-1949 , SAC touring Edinburgh

WIAC Exhibition , Whitechapel Art Gallery (invited artist)

Pictures for Schools , Royal College of Art Gallery, London

Painters from Cornwall , Plymouth City Art Gallery
Tenth anniversary of Penwith Scoiety of Art, (invited artist)
Contemporary Scottish Artists , SAC touring exhibition of Canada
International Exhibition of Works in Gouache , New York
British Watercolours , Waddington Gallery, London (tour to Sweeden)

Waddington Gallery, London, 1 st House Exhibition

Seven Scottish Artists , Scottish Arts Council (SAC), touring exhibition
Abstract Art 2 , Milan (invited artist)

British Painting and Sculpture , Whitechapel Art Gallery,

International Watercolour Exhibition , Brooklyn Museum, New York
Artists of Fame and Promise , Leicester Galleries, London

WIAC Exhibition, RBA Galleries, London (invited artist)
Contemporary Artists, Chapel House Penzance

British Abstract Art, Gimpel Fils, London
Danish, British and American Abstract Artists, Riverside Museum, New York
WIAC Exhibition, RBA Galleries, London (invited artist)

Penwith Society of Arts, St Ives
Crypt Group, St Ives

Living Artists , National Gallery of Scotland

Modern Artists , Downings Gallery, St.Ives

St Ives Society of Artists , travelling exhibition in UK and South Africa

The Moderns, Castle Inn, St Ives

St Ives Society of Artists

Newlyn Society of Artists
Royal Scottish Academy (RSA), Edinburgh.

Selected Collections

The Arts Council of Great Britain
The British Museum
The Fleming -Wyfold Art Foundation London
Glasgow Museum of Modern Art
The Governmant Art Collection
Tate Gallery
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
Victoria and Albert Museum
Birmingham, Dundee, Leeds, Manchester, Portsmouth, Sheffield, Wolverhampton City Art Galleries
The New South Wales Art Gallery, Australia.

Selected Publications:

W. Barns-Graham: A Studio Life 1912-2004 by Lynne Green, second edition 2012, Lund Humphries
W. Barns-Graham 1912-2004, Important Works From Her Career, Art First
Wilhelmina Barns-Graham 1912-2004, Art First, 2004
Wilhelmina Barns-Graham at 90: A Tribute from Art First, 2002
Wilhelmina Barns-Graham. A Celebration at 90, The Scottish Gallery, 2002
Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Paintings, Art First, 2001
W. Barns-Graham - A Studio Life by Lynne Green, 2001, Lund Humphries
W. Barns-Graham: painting as celebration, Crawford Art Centre, 2001
Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: New Paintings, 1999, Art First
W. Barns-Graham, New Paintings, 1995
W. Barns-Graham at 80, William Jackson Gallery, 1992
W. Barns-Graham, Retrospective, City of Edinburgh Museums and Art Galleries, 1989