School of Art
The Davies SistersGwendoline Elizabeth Davies (1882–1944) and Margaret Sydney Davies (1884–1963) were daughters of Edward Davies (1852–1898), whose name is commemorated in the Edward Davies Building which houses the School of Art and the majority of the Collections.
On the death of their father they inherited the family fortune amassed by their grandfather, the industrialist David Davies, together with their brother David, the first Lord Davies. The sisters were among the most influential patrons and supporters of the arts in Wales, and their renowned collection of 19th century French painting is now housed in the National Museum of Wales.
They did much to promote the teaching of art in Aberystwyth, and gave £5,000 to the University in 1918 as an endowment fund 'to provide income for the museum's needs'. This gift supported the establishment of the Art Department and the Gallery of Crafts, and was part of their commitment to the development of an arts and crafts revival in Wales.
In September 1914 the sisters brought a group of Belgian refugee artists to Wales, including Valerius de Saedeleer and his daughters, who assisted Dan Jones in the teaching of art in Aberystwyth.