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Three Rocks

Barns-Graham, Wilhelmina (1912-2004), 1952, Oil on canvas 61.6 x 106.7

A Scottish artist, born in St. Andrews Fife, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham studied at the Edinburgh College of Art from 1931-37. In 1940 she moved to St. Ives in Cornwall, where she became a member of both the Newlyn Society of Artists and the St. Ives Society of Artists, leaving the latter after an acrimonious split to become founder of a breakaway group, the Penwith Society of Arts. In 1952 her studies of local forms became planar and two dimensional. <i>Three Rocks</i>, dated 1952, is an example of her style at this time. It was bought by the LACF in 1952. Barns-Graham was one of the foremost British abstract artists, but her importance declined and it was not until her old age that she received recognition. In 1992, Barns-Graham was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of St. Andrews and this was followed by honorary degrees from several other universities. In 1999 she was elected an honorary member of both the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Scottish Watercolourists. In 2001 Barns-Graham was awarded the CBE. In 1987 she had set up a charitable trust, the aims of which were to advance knowledge of her work and to support art and art history students through grants and bursaries.</span>