Overview

Elected ARSA: 20 March 1963

James Barr was born in Kinning Park, Glasgow, in 1911, the eldest of a family of five. He attended Bellahouston Academy and, after taking his Highers, entered the Office of a Govan Shipyard. This he hated. Some amelioration came through Art Classes in Evening School. Subsequently, he enrolled in Glasgow School of Art and was taught by Archibald Dawson, In 1@31 he won the Haldane Scholarship, in 1932 the John H, Burnett Prize, and in 1933 a Maintenance Scholarship for a fifth year. He also won a Royal Scottish Academy Carnegie Travelling Scholarship.

 

Mr. Barr assisted Dawson to create the great figure of St. Andrew for the Empire Exhibition held in Bellahouston Park in 1938, and in that year he joined the Staff of the Glasgow School of Art, but on the outbreak of War the School was closed and the Staff dismissed. Mr, Barr volunteered for the Air Force and was passed Al, but he was never called up: instead he was employed as a rivetter by James Howden of Glasgow, maker of aeroplane parts.

 

In 1945 he applied successfully to be re-admitted to the staff of the Art School. After the retirement of Benno Schotz he presented the Diploma Students for five years, Mr. Barr was an Associate Member of the Society of British Sculptors.

 

Examples of his work are:

Carving - The Pulpit of St, Michael's Church, Linlithgow. Six stone panels in relief on the National Library Edinburgh. Bronzes- John Logie Baird for the University of Strathclyde. The Duchess of Hamilton for the Lamlash Hospital, Arran. Memorial Panels in the High School, Glasgow, to (1) Dr. John Hutchison. (2) Dr. Harry J. Spenser.

Fibre Glass – Crest for the Spastic Children's Home in Ayrshire.

Trophy- Rugby Trophy for the High School - McCann Trophy (Memorial).

 

In 1963 Mr. Barr was elected an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy, His warm and friendly personality and his ready smile made him a popular Member, and he will be sadly missed by his many friends. He died suddenly on 6th January, 1969, at the age of fifty-seven. He is survived by his wife, son, and daughter.

 

RSA Obituary by WM. H. Kininmonth & Robin Philipson, transcribed from 1968 RSA Annual Report