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Posted 26.01.18

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham – A lasting legacy of abstract geometry

By Kat Peberdy

Geoffrey Bertram, Chairman of the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust presenting his lecture at Plymouth College of Art

To celebrate the donation of a selection of original prints from the renowned artist Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Geoffrey Bertram gave a free public lecture at Plymouth College of Art.

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham (1912-2004) was born in St Andrews in 1912 and attended Edinburgh College of Art in 1931-37 before moving to St Ives in 1940. Barns-Graham was a leading member of the St Ives School of artists who contributed to the advancement of British Abstract Art in the 20th Century.

Geoffrey Bertram, Chairman of the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust, gave a public lecture at Plymouth College of Art on the works and career of British printmaker Wilhelmina Barns-Graham CBE, recognising her lasting legacy of abstract geometry and rich colour observation.

Professor Andrew Brewerton, Principal at Plymouth College of Art, at the opening of the Barns-Graham room

The event included a complimentary drinks reception in the college’s newly-named Barns-Graham Room, where visitors had the opportunity to see six original Wilhelmina Barns-Graham screenprints (made between 2000 and 2006). The screenprints were donated to the college by the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust in October 2017, and now form part of the college’s study collection of original works by artists including Gareth Neal, Anthony Frost, Martin Parr, Irvine Peacock and Brian Griffiths, displayed throughout its campus to enrich the creative learning environment and research opportunities available to students, staff and visitors.

The Wilhelmina Barns-Graham acquisition follows a donation in 2017 by The Lenkiewicz Foundation of approximately 3,000 books from the collection of celebrated local artist Robert Lenkiewicz, which now reside in a quiet study section of the Plymouth College of Art library.

Plymouth College of Art extends its thanks to Geoffrey Bertram, who was instrumental in the provision of the generous donation of screenprints to the college.