The Friends of Dame Laura Knight Society,
Malvern & Colwall Branch

10th May 2018: Society Trip to Cardiff National Museum:

Cardiff National Museum

Vivid memories of Cardiff:
(click image(s) to enlarge view)

Blessed by Spring sunshine, a small party of DLK enthusiasts enjoyed a scenic journey en route to Cardiff, where we were able to view some of the rich art collection  at the National Museum of Wales.

Though we were particularly interested in British and European art contemporary with the Knights, there was so much more to see.

Much of the modern collection had been given to the nation by Gwendoline and Margaret Davies, whose wealth and Calvinistic Methodism motivated them to purchase and donate British and French paintings and sculptures collected between 1908 and 1950s. So we were privileged to see iconic examples from Turner, Millet, Rodin, Cezanne, Monet, Renoir, et al to Augustus and Gwen John, Frank Brangwyn, the Knights and modern Welsh work such as Kyffin Williams. It was a very impressive collection.

Some of the party were given a guided tour of the Galleries by an experienced volunteer, Ann Saer. Though (as with many big galleries now) we were disappointed not to meet an actual Curator, nor to be able to visit the Storeroom .

Out of 6 owned by Cardiff we only had the opportunity to view 2 of the Knights’ works on display - see images *.

View from the Civic gardens

Ann Saer our guide

* Dame Laura Knight DBE RA RWS 1877 – 1970
The Cornish Coast

* Harold Knight RA 1874 - 1961
The  Green Book

Charles Sims RA 1973 - 1928
The Kite
Just by chance David Thorpe, a member of our group, came across a Laura Knight ballet etching hidden away in a Gallery drawer!! - see image below.

For the rest of our visit we spent time in other Rooms discovering a wealth of ceramics, sculpture, silver and modern painting.  Welcome respite came in the cafeteria with coffee and bara brith and the museum shop was a source of aesthetic bargains. Later some had time to explore the ambience and retail opportunities of the City whilst others sat ‘people watching’ in the beautiful civic gardens, enjoying an ice cream.

We were very grateful to Evie Knight for organising such an excellent trip and only sorry she could not be with us because of work.

Thanks again go to the driving skills of Ian and the comfort of Commandery Coaches. We had a safe return trip, arriving home with lots to think about just in time for tea!

Heather Whatley  
June 2018   

last view of the Civic gardens, as we left .

Frank Brangwyn RA RWS RBA 1867 - 1957

Edward Lear 1812 - 1888
Kinchinjunga from Darjeeling

Benjamin Williams Leader RA 1831 - 1923
On the LLugwy below Capel Curig

Frank Brangwyn RA RWS RBA 1867 - 1957
Venice: St Mark's from the Lagoon

Auguste Rodin  1840 - 1917
The Kiss

Edgar Degas 1834 - 1917
Bronze, Nude Little Dancer

Augustus John OM RA 1878 – 1961
Portrait of a Child

We would like to thank Dick Stockford, Sam Knight, David Thorpe & Mike Avril for copies of their photograghs of the day.