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Fairground

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    London (printed)

  • Date:

    1945 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Jones, Barbara, born 1912 - died 1978 (artist)
    Baynard Press (printer)
    School Prints Ltd. (commissioned by)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour lithograph

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Frances Marks

  • Museum number:

    E.254-2006

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case MB2G, shelf DR112, box MP343

Barbara Jones was one of several artists involved in the Recording Britain scheme who also provided work for School Prints. Besides watercolour paintings she also painted murals on P&O cruise-liners (S.S.Orcades, S.S.Oronsay, S.S.Orsova, S.S.Oriana) between 1948 and 1960, and for hotels, restaurants, exhibitions and schools. Her surviving work, though, is in the form of book and dustjacket illustrations, including the Woodentops children's fictional characters.

Set up in 1945 by Brenda Rawnsley, the School Prints scheme commissioned well-known artists to create lithographs, which would then be printed in large numbers and sold cheaply to schools for display in classrooms; the aim was to give 'school children an understanding of contemporary art'. Each lithograph had a drawn frame so that the print could be pinned to the wall. In the spirit of post-war optimism, artists responded enthusiastically. The scheme was a unique attempt at giving children access to original works of art in a period of austerity but ended in 1949 because of financial problems. Many of the prints depict a familiar world of everyday rural or urban life, some presenting a version of the pastoral idyll and others scenes of entertainment or leisure.

Physical description

Colour lithograph showing a fairground with a brightly-coloured, ornately decorated merry-go-round in the foreground, featuring cockerels and horses. A second ride (dragons) can be seen behind and to the left a man with a stall of coconuts shouts to advertise his coconut shy. In the lower right corner a woman and two young children stand watching the merry-go-round. Around the image is a printed 'frame', consisting of ivy leaves around a pole against an orange background and with a blue outer edge.

Place of Origin

London (printed)

Date

1945 (printed)

Artist/maker

Jones, Barbara, born 1912 - died 1978 (artist)
Baynard Press (printer)
School Prints Ltd. (commissioned by)

Materials and Techniques

Colour lithograph

Marks and inscriptions

S.P.2. Published by School Prints Ltd.
Bottom right margin

Barbara Jones
Bottom left of image, artist signature

SKILL
on sign by coconut shy

PRAIRIE HORS[ES]
Abover carousel

2
On sign next to coconut shy

Dimensions

Height: 497 mm, Width: 760 mm

Object history note

Gift of Frances Marks, from her late father's collection

Historical context note

School Prints series was published in the 1940s. The idea behind the series was to commission established artists to create lithographs which could be editioned in very large numbers and sold cheaply to schools, for display in corridors, classrooms and assembly halls. The pupils would enjoy direct contact with new works of art. The entrepreneur, Mrs Brenda Rawnsley, wrote: 'We are producing a series of auto-lithographs, four for each term, for use in schools, as a means of giving school children an understanding of contemporary art.'

In the spirit of post-war optimism, the artists responded enthusiastically, and submitted sketches to the selection committee, chaired by Herbert Read, which included influential R.R. Tomlinson, London County Council Senior Inspector of Art. Many of the prints depict a familiar world of everyday rural or urban life, some presenting a version of the pastoral idyll (John Nash 'Harvesting') and others scenes of festivity (Barbara Jones 'Fairground'), entertainment (L.S. Lowry 'Punch and Judy') or leisure (John Tunnard's surrealist 'Holiday'). Each lithograph had a drawn frame around the image so that the print could be pinned to the wall.

Descriptive line

Colour lithograph, 'Fairground', Barbara Jones, School Prints series; London, 1945

Materials

Ink; Paper

Techniques

Lithography

Subjects depicted

Carousel horses; Fairground; Man; Woman; Cockerels; Children; Dragons; Coconut shy

Categories

Prints

Production Type

Limited edition

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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