Glynn Vivian Art Gallery
The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery is the public art gallery of the City and County of Swansea, in South Wales. The gallery is situated in Alexandra Road, near Swansea railway station, opposite the old Swansea Central Library.
The creation of the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery was made possible when in 1905 Richard Glynn Vivian offered his collection of paintings, drawings and china to the City with an endowment of £10,000. The donor laid the foundation stone himself in 1909, but it was after his death that the Gallery was formally opened in 1911, with 'great enthusiasm and gaiety'. The building was designed by Glendinning Moxham in 'Edwardian baroque' style. William Grant Murray, director of the Swansea Art School, became the Gallery's first director; since 1951 the Gallery has had its own Curator.
Richard Glynn Vivian's collection, like most private collections, was eclectic. By donations – including the Deffett Francis collection of prints and drawings and the K. S. Meager bequest of Swansea china – and by purchases the Gallery's holdings have become more representative of the range of European art, while remaining rich in the work of local artists.
The Gallery also presents loan exhibitions and events, and has an educational programme.
The gallery displays a broad spectrum of visual arts from the original bequest of Richard Glynn Vivian (1835–1910), and includes work by Old Masters as well as an international collection of porcelain and Swansea china.
The paintings include work by Richard Wilson, Claude Monet, Thomas Jones, Mark Gertler, Augustus John, Gwen John, Stanley Spencer, Lucien Pissarro, Paul Nash, Guido Reni, Cedric Morris, Ben Nicholson, Alfred Janes, Ceri Richards, Ivon Hitchens, Thomas Lawrence, H. Scott Tuke, Ryszard Zajac, Evan Walters and Kyffin Williams.
The Gallery has an extensive collection of Swansea porcelain and china, as well as select pieces of other British and European factories, and of British and French glass. Among these is one of the earliest examples of European porcelain, a Meissen experimental vase complete with AR mark.
In October 2011 the gallery was closed temporarily for a £6 million refurbishment and recladding of the 1974 extension. During the closure, the gallery planned to continue a programme of activities using alternative local venues. The former chair of the Arts Council of Wales was quoted as saying "The Glynn Vivian is a major civic facility and the only purpose-built art gallery in Wales that is still open. It will be missed by the people of Swansea but they will welcome it back in its renewed form". The work schedule was extended by two years after the original contractor went in to administration. The building re-opened in 2016.
- Guide to the Collections of the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery Swansea (1970), p.6.
- "Glynn Vivian Art Gallery". BBC Your Paintings. Retrieved 2016-02-12.
- Swansea's Glynn Vivian Art gallery shuts for £6m refit, BBC News – south west Wales, 30 October 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-09.
- "Swansea's Glynn Vivian Art Gallery refurbishment set to enter final phase after four years". South Wales Evening Post. 15 November 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-12.
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