The deadline for this award has now passed

We are  very much aware of the developments of Covid-19. We have made the decision to keep the applications open for the 2020 RSA Barns-Graham Travel Award as detailed in the guidelines below, however, the dates for the chosen artist to visit their chosen travel destination will be pushed back until the UK Government declares it completely safe to visit. Please get in touch if you have any further questions.

The RSA Barns-Graham Travel Award (£2,000) provides a travel and research opportunity for graduating and postgraduate students. The award is funded by the Barns-Graham Charitable Trust and administered by the Royal Scottish Academy and consists of:

  • Funding for a period of research and development for a new body of work
  • Exhibition of selected completed work at the Royal Scottish Academy in 2021
  • Acquisition of work into the RSA Permanent Collection; ‘A Recognised Collection of National Significance to Scotland’.

Entrants must be painters, printmakers or sculptors
Entrants must either be graduating in 2020 or currently studying at postgraduate level at one of the following art schools in Scotland: Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and UHI.



Barns-Graham Trust finals

WINNER 2020: Natasha Jensen

Richard Goldsworthy (2019) Shipei Wang (2018) Shine Christensen (2017) Mina Heydari-Waite (2016) Tim Sandys (2015) Alice Hoskins (2014) Gabriele Jogelaite (2013) Madeline Mackay (2012) Aleksandra Zawada (2011) Geri Loup-Nolan (2010) Martin Hill (2009) Gemma Saville (2008) Mair Hughes (2007) Margaret Bathgate (2006)

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham HRSA was born in 1912 in St Andrews, Fife. After attending Edinburgh College of Art (1932 – 37) she went to St. Ives in 1940, quickly becoming part of the group which included Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth. She was a founder member of the Penwith Society. She travelled regularly over the next 20 years – Switzerland, Italy, Paris, and Spain. With the exception of a short teaching term at Leeds School of Art (1956 – 57) and three years in London (1960 – 63) she lived and worked in St Ives with regular stays in St Andrews where, in 1992, she received an Honorary Doctorate from the University. In 1999 she was elected an honorary member of the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) and The Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour (RSW); she also received Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Plymouth and Exeter and in 2001 she was awarded CBE. Her paintings can be found in public collections throughout the UK including the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Arts Council of Great Britain, British Museum, the Tate Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, Leeds and Manchester City Art Galleries.
For more information about Wilhelmina Barns-Graham please visit the website for The Barns-Graham Charitable Trust at