Detail from an illustration by Barbara Jones for the This or That publication by the Scottish Committee of the Council of Industrial Design. Taken from the Design Council Archive, University of Brighton Design Archives.Black Eyes & Lemonade: Curating Popular Art at the Whitechapel Gallery is a project devised by Design Archives Curatorial Director, Catherine Moriarty and the Director of the Museum of British Folklore, Simon Costin in collaboration with the Whitechapel Art Gallery Archive Curator, Nayia Yiakoumaki.

The project explores the radical exhibition of British popular and traditional art that took place at the Whitechapel Gallery in the summer of 1951 organized by artist, designer and writer, Barbara Jones (1912-1978). It includes archive material from the University’s Design Archives, the Vogue Archives and the Whitechapel Gallery Archive, as well as installation views and ephemera from Jones’s Hampstead studio. The exhibition highlights Jones’s innovative curatorial approach to popular art, and the connections she was able to draw across images and objects.

Already attracting considerable attention, the exhibition was included in The Times ‘What the critics would pay to see’ feature last Saturday, and has been reviewed in Blueprint:
“Not only relevant as an archival restaging, the exhibition puts forward important questions about the curation of art and the curator’s response to galleries and commissioning bodies.”

The Design Archives have organized a study day with the Whitechapel Gallery to be held on 14 June. It includes presentations by Dr Louise Purbrick (SHACS) and AHRC Collaborative Doctoral student, Liz Farrelly.

For further information and exhibition opening times please visit:

For further information about the project see the Design Archives research page:

The essay ‘Drawing, writing and curating: Barbara Jones and the art of arrangement’ written by Catherine Moriarty to accompany the exhibition is free to exhibition visitors and can be purchased from the Design Archives for £4, including postage.


Image shows detail of an illustration by Barbara Jones for the publication This or That published by the Scottish Committee of the Council of Industrial Design, 1947.