Wales has long been an inspiration for Art and Artists. The scenery drew in many people from abroad to paint the region including JMW Turner and LS Lowry. We have 750 miles of coastline, more than 400 castles, 5 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and 3 national parks including the only coastal one in the UK - you can see why artists are drawn here. Here are some examples of collections of works by Welsh artists and details of how to visit them.
- Andrew Logan b. 1945
The Andrew Logan Museum of Sculpture is Europe’s only museum dedicated to a living artist. Situated in a quaint village in the Marches region of Wales not far from major English cities. Some of the attractions include his Alternative Miss World and his fashion sculptors. Andrew Logan has an international reputation. The late George Melly (musician and wit) called him the “Fabergé for the Millennium” for his love of colour and sparkle. The museum can be opened for private visits and for group visits by prior arrangement.
Andrew Logan Museum
- Augustus John RA (1878-1961)
Born in Pembrokeshire, Augustus John was a Post-Impressionist and he is often compared alongside Matisse and Gauguin. Working right up to his death his striking paintings are full of colour. He also served as a War Artist in the First World War. During the 1920s he was one of Britain’s leading society portrait painters with studies of people like Winston Churchill, Dylan Thomas, Thomas Hardy and Lawrence of Arabia. He was also nicknamed the King of the Bohemians for his unconventional lifestyle (he often lived in a caravan with his wife and mistress!). He influenced a whole generation of artists not only in Wales and the UK. His work can be seen at the National Museum Wales in Cardiff . Please contact the museum in advance and a curator will show you the collection.
National Museum Wales
- Cefyn Burgess
Cefyn is an artist using textiles and furnishing in his art work to reflect Wales and Welsh culture. His work is featured in places as diverse as The British Museum and the National History Museum in St Fagans near Cardiff. He trained at the Royal College of Art in London and followed that by working for prestigious companies such as Liberty’s. In recognition of his service to Welsh culture in 2004 he was elected to be a Druid (the highest award) in the National Eisteddfod of Wales – the Eisteddfod is an annual festival celebrating all aspects of Arts and Culture in the country. His studio shop is located in Ruthin Craft Centre.
- Colin Jones (1928-1967)
A Newport born artist who closely identified with South Wales’ industrial heritage. Apart from his National Service he trained and worked in the region. One of his strongest paintings is Pithead Funeral a striking testament to the Aberfan Disaster in 1966 when 144 people – 116 of them children – were killed when a coal slag pile collapsed and engulfed a school. There are also many portraits of local people and characters on public display. Colin Jones would undoubtedly have received wider fame but unfortunately he was killed in an accident aged only 38.
- Edward Morland Lewis (1903-1943)
The son of the noted watercolourist Benjamin Lewis, he was trained by the famous artist Walter Sickert at the Royal Academy School later becoming his assistant. He was greatly inspired by the light and countryside of West Wales. His paintings are full of colour and vibrancy. The sculptor Henry Moore was a good friend and the poet Dylan Thomas was best man at his wedding. He died young of Malaria whilst serving in the Second World War.
Carmarthenshire County Museum
National Museum Wales
- Evan Walters (1893-1951)
Evan Walters was from the Impressionist school and was noted by the famous Welsh painter Augustus John. Born and bred near Swansea he painted striking pictures showing the strong industrial heritage of the region in the early part of the 20th century. He also painted many notable figures of his day, such as the Prime Minister David Lloyd George. The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery has a permanent collection of his work.
- Gwen John (1876-1939)
The older sister of Augustus John, she is now considered to be more talented than her brother. She has a totally different style to her flamboyant brother in that she preferred to use muted and subtle colours and often worked in watercolour. She liked to work on portraits and still lives. Although she became a recluse in her later years for a large part of her early life she was the model for (and lover of) the sculptor Auguste Rodin. Her work can be seen at the National Museum Wales in Cardiff. Please contact the museum in advance and a curator will show you the collection.
National Museum Wales
- Mildred Eldridge (1909-1991)
The exhibition of these exquisite panels by local artist Mildred Eldridge (1909-1991) are considered to be her most significant work. The ‘Dance of Life’ mural, was formerly housed in the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic and District Hospital in Gobowen. It was commissioned by the Hospital Management Committee in 1951 for the dining room of the new Nurses’ Home. Long before pollution and the environment became popular issues, the mural tells the story of civilised man’s alienation from nature, and this attempt to reclaim a lost natural wisdom. This theme is illustrated with scenes of the countryside and seashore, which contain many beautiful images of birds, animals and plants.
- Robert Thomas (1926-1999)
Part of The Rhondda Group - a loose association of artists from that area who all attended The Cardiff Art School and who always met on the train down to the city. He also trained at the Royal Art School in London. Beginning in 1965 he sculpted several national figures and his work even appears in the House of Commons. To see his work you can take a stroll down Queen Street in Cardiff city centre where 4 of his works line the pedestrian walkway. In addition his sculpture The Girl is to be seen on the lawn of the National Museum Wales.
National Museum Wales
- Sir Kyffin Williams RA (1918-2006)
A well known teacher and painter Kyffin Williams painted stunning views of the Welsh countryside. His paintings use bold colours and strong brush work. Although collected and worldwide Oriel Kyffin Williams gallery holds a permanent collection and exhibition featuring his life and work. Based on Anglesey near his home you can see the paintings and then visit the countryside that inspired him to paint.
Oriel Ynys Môn
Yr Helfa Gelf / Art Trail
Yr Helfa Gelf is North Wales’ biggest annual free open studio event where visitors can discover art treasures and take a look behind the scenes. Every weekend during September visitors can create their own art trail visiting painters, sculptors, photographers, jewellery makers, woodworkers, potters, textile workers, glass makers, basket weavers and printers – there’s over a hundred to choose from. The unique studio spaces are located in every kind of venue, from purpose-built studios and galleries to garden sheds and back rooms, in wild countryside and busy towns all over North Wales.
Yr Helfa Gelf work in partnership with Anglesey Arts Week which open their studios in Anglesey every April.