A brand new exhibition on Richard Burton’s life reveals the man behind the headlines – the husband, father, reader, writer and passionate Welshman.
Becoming Richard Burton, opening at National Museum Cardiff on Saturday 21 November, follows the remarkable story of how Richard Jenkins, the boy from Pontrhydyfen and Taibach, Port Talbot, became Richard Burton, the international star of stage and screen.
The free exhibition, which is a partnership between Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales and Swansea University, will feature Burton’s diaries, papers and personal objects on display for the public for the very first time. The items have been loaned to the museum by the Richard Burton Archives at Swansea University.
Other highlight objects loaned for the exhibition include costumes worn by Burton on stage in the Shakespearean performances that launched his career and later as Hollywood star in Cleopatra, the film that changed his life.
To coincide with the physical exhibition, there will also be a digital exhibition on the museum’s website from mid-December. Produced by Focus Group, a design and creative agency based in Cardiff and Edinburgh, the digital exhibition will be updated with key stories and items on a regular basis. This signals a change in how the museum will approach future exhibitions, and it hopes to build on its digital offering.
Amgueddfa Cymru’s Director General, David Anderson said: “It is indisputable that Richard Burton was and remains a national icon. We couldn’t have told his story without the support of the Richard Burton Archives at Swansea University and we’re grateful to Sally Burton for sharing her personal collection.
“This is the first exhibition to examine his life in full and tell the story of how a young boy from humble beginnings in south Wales became the most famous Welshman of our time, and serves as an inspiration of how this wonderful country punches above its weight.
“Museums and galleries play a vital role in ensuring the wellbeing of our nation and I’m proud that Amgueddfa Cymru has been able to realise this exhibition in the difficult circumstances that the pandemic continues to present us.”
Professor Martin Stringer, pro-vice-chancellor of Swansea University, said: “The Richard Burton Collection at Swansea is the most comprehensive source of primary information to date about Burton’s life and work, and the Richard Burton Centre is a leading interdisciplinary research in the field of Welsh cultural studies. Swansea University is delighted to have loaned items and to have contributed our expertise to this exhibition which will give visitors, and those accessing the exhibition online, an insight into the deeply cultured, widely-read, intellectual man Burton was.”
Sally Burton, Richard Burton’s widow, donated many of the objects to Swansea University in 2005, creating the Richard Burton Archive. Sally said: “Richard made a massive journey from Wales to the world stage. There was something quite extraordinary about him which was apparent from an early age. I think everyone who met him felt it. People were drawn to him. It was a magical quality which he also knew he had but he didn’t quite know what it was. One thing he did know was that he had to pursue it, knocking down barriers as he went. Sometimes he would say, ‘what is it about me?’. I believe this exhibition, and here I must thank everyone involved, will enable us to explore some of those intriguing answers.”
Tempo the key for Duff as Swans prepare to face Huddersfield
New project to bring empty shop units back into use
Mount Pleasant shoplifter jailed after assaulting security guard
Wholesale changes for Ospreys for Benetton clash
‘I can never live a normal life after being stalked’ – Brave women speaks out about domestic violence in new Police campaign
More homes developed in former council buildings in Swansea
Carmarthenshire GB Taekwondo star hopes Manchester Grand Prix can help inspire more people to pick up the sport
Swansea nurses meet King Charles during royal appointment
Llanelli politicians back alternative steel proposals as unions warn Tata’s current plans would mean closure of Trostre plant
Thieves target local cemeteries and disrupt water supplies
Popular Swansea pub set for grand re-opening after £279,000 makeover
New light being shone on popular seafront promenade
Funding boost for Mumbles women’s fashion shop
Work completed on River Tawe pontoon
Aldi Fforestfach celebrates grand opening with help from Paralympian
Specsavers to invest more than £400,000 in new Mumbles store
Castle Square transformation takes new step
Free buses returning to Swansea for the festive period
Plans submitted for sustainable aviation fuel plant in Port Talbot
Will Pepper’s Christmas wish come true after 800 days waiting for a home?
Money2 days ago
Morriston receives banking hub following community request
Carmarthen3 days ago
Council agrees sale of sprawling former asylum in Carmarthen
Bridgend4 days ago
Independent pharmacy chain pick up former Lloyds pharmacy branches
South Wales Police3 days ago
Three arrests after Mount Pleasant home attacked with ‘weapons’
Neath3 days ago
New look for Victoria Gardens children’s play area is completed
Business4 days ago
Swansea-based housing association enters into merger discussions with Rhondda organisation
Business2 days ago
Revamped H Samuel shop shines bright in Swansea’s Quadrant Shopping Centre
Carmarthenshire7 days ago
Council leader says hydrogen bus trial on the cards for Swansea