School of Art
OverviewThis site provides an introduction to art and crafts collection of the School of Art Gallery and Museum at Aberystwyth, outlining its development and the individuals whose personal enthusiasms have shaped the collection since 1872. The University has never been able to fund its own art and crafts museum, nor today does it benefit from special factor government funding enjoyed by some of the larger university museums in England. Its achievements have only been made possible through the generosity of its benefactors: George Powell of Nanteos, Gwendoline and Margaret Davies of Llandinam, Sir John Williams, Dr Elvet Lewis and the friends and former students of the University who have contributed financially or made individual gifts and bequests of works of art.
Today, probably more than ever before, the art and crafts collection is making an invaluable contribution to the teaching and research activities of the School of Art. While many other departmental collections are no longer of relevance to teaching this is not the case with art and art history which are necessarily bound up with these specialised forms of material culture. George Powell, John Williams, the Davies sisters and Elvet Lewis all shared a loyalty towards the University and a commitment to the study and display of art in Wales. They also valued a fundamental need to broaden the students' cultural experience with ‘a knowledge as well as a proper sense of appreciation of these “things of beauty”, so that they may be able to instruct and inspire for the welfare of the coming generations'. (Annual Report 1925)