For the first time in 30 years there will be an opportunity for the public to see a selection of prints from the Gregynog collection.
The exhibition Lasting Impressions: Gregynog Prints, which opens on 4 February 2023 at The National Library of Wales, will celebrate the Davies sisters’ art collection and the work of Gwasg Gregynog.
Gwendoline and Margaret Davies, who were generous supporters of the Library, amassed one of Britain's most important art collection in the twentieth century.
Amongst the treasures in the exhibition will be forty etchings by Augustus John, an iconic Rembrandt self-portrait, and a set of rare and early proofs from James McNeill Whistler’s famous Thames Set.
In 1951, thanks to their generosity, the Gregynog Gallery was completed and decorated, and in 1952, a year after Gwendoline’s death, Margaret donated a collection of valuable prints to the Library.
Pedr ap Llwyd, Chief Executive and Librarian at the National Library of Wales said:
“Thanks to the Davies sisters’ generosity the National Library of Wales has a beautiful space in the Gregynog gallery to share the National Art Collection with the people of Wales. We are very pleased therefore to be able to share some of the treasures that they collected, which reflect their sublime tastes, with all who visit this special exhibition.”
Mari Elin Jones, Interpretation Officer at the National Library of Wales said:
“Just over 70 years since Margaret Davies bequeathed the print collection to the Library, and nearly 30 years since the works were last exhibited, we’re thrilled to share this unique collection with the public one again. I hope that these beautiful objects will be enjoyed by visitors of all ages.”
As well as collecting art and their charity work, the Davies sisters’ intention was to create a centre for Arts and Crafts in Wales. This gave rise to the Gregynog Press (1923-1940) and later the University of Wales’ Gwasg Gregynog (c.1970-2018), which produced high-quality limited edition books.
A number of the best printmakers of the twentieth century were commissioned to illustrate these books - artists such as Kyffin Williams, Hilary Paynter and Colin See-Paynton – and examples of these illustrations are also on display in the exhibition.
The Lasting Impressions: Gregynog Prints, will run until 23 September
** Mae'r datganiad yma hefyd ar gael yn y Gymraeg**