BARBARA JONES (1912-1978) was born in Croydon, Surrey, where her family ran a high street saddlery. She studied at the Croydon School of Art and the Royal College of Art, in the footsteps of Edward Bawden, John Piper and Eric Ravilious. Like them, she was interested in the architecture, landscape and the folk and decorative arts of Britain. During the Second World War she was commissioned by The Pilgrim Trust to document historic buildings at risk from war damage. The paintings she produced were included in the landmark publication Recording Britain (1946-1949) and are now held at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

In 1951 she curated the ‘Black Eyes and Lemonade’ exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, as part of the Festival of Britain. She also produced lithographs and was regularly commissioned to paint large murals, notably for Selfridges, the Commonwealth Institute and for the Design Council’s ‘Britain Can Make It’ exhibition. She was a prolific illustrator of books, and wrote and illustrated several of her own, including The Isle of Wight, Follies and Grottoes, Twit and Howlett and Design for Death.