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Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales acquires north Wales prints

New display opens at National Museum Cardiff

A display including a newly acquired set of prints by British artist Chris Ofili is now on show at National Museum Cardiff as part of the exhibition Rules of Art? .

Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales acquired the group of 10 etchings on paper, of locations in north Wales, in 2021 and the purchase was made possible with the generous support of the Ampersand Foundation and the Derek Williams Trust.

Ofili studied at Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London and rose to prominence in the 1990s. He visited north Wales in 1996, choosing locations within an hour of Llanbedr, in the south of Gwynedd.

In the new display, Ofili’s works are complemented by other Welsh landscapes from the Museum’s collection, as well as loans from emerging Welsh artists, presenting a unique opportunity for fresh interpretations of Wales. 

From Richard Long’s photographic print of Snowdonia Stones to Barbara Bodichon’s watercolour of View from my window, Maentwrog, Snowdonia and George Poole’s Welsh landscape The Lovers, there is a lot for visitors to enjoy. Another new acquisition, trailing past by Sean Edwards, will also be displayed at the Museum for the first time.

The works were chosen, not by museum curators, but by a group of 9 participants, young curators and artists, aged 18-25 - the Museum’s Demystifying Acquisitions group. Formed in May 2021, the group worked with the contemporary art curators to look at art acquisitions at the Museum, debate questions on the proposed acquisition of new works and reach joint decisions.

The Demystifying Acquisitions project was funded with support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Kick The Dust grants and Art Fund’s Reimagine grants.

Rhyann Arthur from the group said, 'Demystifying Acquisitions with National Museum Cardiff is proving to be a valuable project for young people entering the world of arts institutions, giving a deeply informative insight into behind-the-scenes knowledge and processes. Applied to the acquisition of Ofili’s north Wales series, the opportunity is made all the more advantageous as the live project can meaningfully add to the Museum's art collection, with a representation of Wales as an inspiration for contemporary artists, much as it played that role for the likes of Turner and Lowry.'







Dr Kath Davies, Director of Collections & Research, said, 'We are committed to working in a more open and democratic way by listening to new voices and  seeing new perspectives. This project has given an opportunity for the next generation of artists and creatives in Wales to have access to every stage of the curatorial process. Together, they have created something special. 

'The Chris Ofili acquisition is a fantastic addition to our collections and sits well alongside the work of other landscape artists such as Richard Wilson, Thomas Jones, Graham Sutherland and Clare Woods to tell the story of two centuries long history of landscape painting in Wales.'

Amgueddfa Cymru belongs to everyone and is here for everyone to use. We are a charity and a family of seven national museums and a collections centre, located across the country. Our aim is to inspire everyone through Wales’s story, at our museums, in communities and digitally.  

Our welcome is free thanks to funding from the Welsh Government and extends to people from all communities. 

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About Art Fund

Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art. It provides millions of pounds every year to help museums to acquire and share works of art across the UK, further the professional development of their curators, and inspire more people to visit and enjoy their public programmes. Art Fund is independently funded, supported by Art Partners, donors, trusts and foundations and the 135,000 members who buy the National Art Pass, who enjoy free or discounted entry to over 850 museums, galleries and historic places, 50% off major exhibitions, and receive Art Quarterly magazine. Art Fund also supports museums through its annual prize, Art Fund Museum of the Year. The winner of Art Fund Museum of the Year 2022 is Horniman Museums & Gardens.