On Tuesday we took the whole of the Lower Fourth to the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff to look around the galleries and to do some drawing and note taking from the artwork on exhibition.
The museum has a wide and wonderful collection, from very early works such as a Botticelli (although sadly this was not on display) through 19 century work by the likes of Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites, to a temporary exhibition which is currently by the Welsh performance artist Ivor Davies, famous for the landmark Destruction in Art Symposium (using explosives to blow artwork up).
The museum also has a fantastic collection of work from the impressionist and post impressionist artists, bequeathed by the daughters of a very wealthy Victorian industrialist, the Davies sisters (no relation to Ivor that I know of). Among these works are examples form the likes of Rodin, Manet, Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh, although again sadly, the famous Van Gogh, the last painting he ever created, is currently on loan elsewhere. New to me this year (everything was new to the Lower Fourth) was a collection of unfinished works by the famous welsh Artist Augustus John, and some beautiful etchings and drawings by a contemporary of his, Edna Clarke Hall.
It is fun making connections, such as those between Augustus and his sister Gwen, who showed Edna how to paint in oils, and was herself the muse of Rodin - there is one of his sculptures of her head in the collection. It is always exciting seeing work ‘for real’ rather than on screen or in books.
If you are ever in Cardiff, I highly recommend a look around this gallery, and hopefully Our year 8’s will too. I have to compliment them on their behaviour in the museum, which was impeccable, and the high quality of the work that they produced in their sketchbooks - well done!
Head of Creative Arts