School of Art

Contact Details

School of Art
Aberystwyth University
Buarth Mawr
SY23 1NG

Tel: +44 (0)1970 622460

Fax: +44 (0)1970 622461


The Gregynog Loan

The School of Art's collection of prints was immeasurably enhanced when the Gregynog Loan was deposited in Aberystwyth in 1989. Pioneers of the Print Revival in Britain such as James McNeill Whistler, Augustus John, William Strang and D.Y. Cameron were hitherto notable omissions in the Collection. Acquired by Gwendoline and Margaret Davies between about 1908 and 1932, their print collection included works which had personal associations for them as well as those which represented some of the finest achievements in printmaking in Britain and on the Continent over the past 500 years.

The closest they came to serious print collecting, at a time when it was not only fashionable but highly profitable to do so, is in the important group of prints they acquired by eminent European masters. They purchased five engravings by Albrecht Dürer, three etchings by Rembrandt van Rijn, eight etchings by the Swedish artist Anders Zorn and twenty-five etchings and lithographs by James McNeill Whistler. There are eighty-four etchings by Augustus John who was already a well-established painter when Gwendoline Davies bought them in 1919. The sisters also subscribed to the Print Collectors' Club, which was established in 1921, and in return received a limited edition presentation print annually. The Davies sisters' prints appear to have been acquired less methodically than the Impressionist paintings and sculpture they intended for the Nation, purchased to represent the development of art in 19th-century France.

In 1952 Margaret Davies donated the Dürer engravings, Rembrandt etchings and two prints by Anders Zorn to the National Library of Wales. In addition she presented Whistler's Thames Set in memory of her stepmother Mrs Edward Davies, fifty-seven etchings by Augustus John and five by Jean Louis Forain in memory of her sister Gwendoline.

The Davies Sisters Print Collection