The Trust holds a comprehensive collection of papers, images, books and studio materials compiled by Wilhelmina Barns-Graham. The archive and library may be of interest to researchers, artists, and students researching the life and work of Barns-Graham, women artists of the twentieth century, the St Ives artist colony, Edinburgh College of Art in the 1930s and many more areas of research.
The Trust houses Wilhelmina Barns-Graham’s extensive archive of papers accumulated by her, her mother and aunt, and her close friend and assistant Rowan James throughout her artistic career.
Notable areas of the archive include:
Correspondence between Barns-Graham and friends, family members, and notable members of the art world St Ives, Scotland and beyond,
Diaries and notes kept by Barns-Graham from 1930-2003,
Biographical records including Barns-Graham’s own reminiscences, and transcripts and recordings of interviews from 1970-2003,
Records relating to the day-to-day running of Barns-Graham’s studios, including correspondence between herself and Studio Assistant Rowan James, the purchase of materials, and studio sales,
Newspaper cuttings relating to Barns-Graham’s own life and work from 1930s-2004, the art colony in St Ives, and the opening of Tate St Ives
We welcome both researchers and students to access the archive by appointment. If you are interested in accessing material or making a visit, please contact the Trust in advance on email@example.com
During her lifetime Wilhelmina Barns-Graham accumulated a significant number of art books, magazines, private view cards, auction and exhibition catalogues.
Books, Periodicals and Images
Holdings of material relating to herself, the wider St Ives group of artists and 20th century British art in general are particularly strong. Periodicals that are held in depth include Art Review, Modern Painters, Art International and Art Monthly. There is also other material that represents not only her broader interest in European Art from between 1940 and 1970, but also travel, cookery, history and biography. The Library also contains Barns-Graham’s photographic records of her work and her personal archive of photograph albums.
Many of the art materials used and experimented with by Barns-Graham throughout her career are also held by the Trust.
Paints, pigments and experimentation
From pure pigments to early acrylic paints, our collection of studio materials reflects both Barns-Graham’s eight-decade long artist career and her experimentation with traditional and new artistic techniques. It includes: watercolour, gouache, oil, cryla and acrylic paints; pencils; pens; ink; hundreds of paintbrushes; mixing vessels; painting overalls; and more. A comprehensive inventory has recently been completed and is available to be accessed by students and researchers.
More Ways to Explore Our Archive & Library
Explore some of our archive and library materials in these short introductions to Barns-Graham’s themes and series