Wilhelmina Barns-Graham was born in Fife, in Scotland, and studied at Edinburgh College of Art from 1932 to 1936. In 1940, she moved to St Ives where she met the artists Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth and Peter Lanyon. From the 1960s onwards she divided her time between her home in St Ives and a small estate in St Andrews, inherited from an aunt. She exhibited consistently from the 1940s and was included in surveys of the St Ives School, in particular the 1945 exhibition St Ives 1939-64 at the Tate in London. In 1999 she was elected an honorary member of the Royal Scottish Academy and was awarded a CBE in 2001. In that year a major monograph went some way to assert Barns-Graham’s rightful position as a significant British artist.
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