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Last portrait of Dylan Thomas bought by Carmarthenshire Council

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The last portrait of writer Dylan Thomas, painted two months before his death, has been bought by Carmarthenshire County Council.

The council’s museum service, CofGâr, took delivery of the painting this week after it had remained in the private collection of the artist, Gordon Stuart, until his death in 2015.  Painted in September 1953, it has only been seen publicly on two occasions – at the 1954 National Eisteddfod and sixty years later at 5 Cwmdonkin Drive, the childhood home of Dylan Thomas.

Dylan Thomas is celebrated as the most significant writer of the 20th century in Wales.  This painting was one of four painted over three afternoons at the poet’s Boathouse and Writing Shed in Laugharne.  Two of the four oil paintings are in the State University of New York in Buffalo and the third is in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery.

The painting was bought at auction from the artist’s estate at the Rogers Jones & Co Welsh Sale on April 17 for a hammer price of £15k.  The purchase was made possible with contributions from Art Fund and the Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the National Lottery.

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Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths said: “We are absolutely delighted to be bringing this painting back to where Dylan Thomas spent his last years. It will take pride of place in the new gallery at Carmarthenshire Museum later this year for everyone to enjoy.”

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The painting will be professionally conserved before going on display in a new gallery at Carmarthenshire Museum from September.  It will then go on tour to the Dylan Thomas Boathouse and other venues in the region before returning to Carmarthenshire.

Auctioneer, Ben Rogers Jones, said: “We were privileged to auction the last portrait of Dylan Thomas created before his untimely death, and we are delighted to see that the painting has stayed in Wales.  But to know that the portrait will now visit the iconic boathouse is the icing on the cake!  As the boathouse was Dylan’s last home, it does feel like the painting has come home to him.”


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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Robert Manno

    17th May 2021 at 8:52 pm

    Great News!

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Museums

University’s Egypt Centre in running for top museum award

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Swansea University’s Egypt Centre has been shortlisted for the Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award, it was announced today.

Charity Kids in Museums has run a prestigious annual award for 16 years, recognising the most family friendly heritage sites in the UK. It is the only museum award to be judged by families.

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From late March to early June, families across the UK voted for their favourite heritage attraction on the Kids in Museums website. A panel of experts then whittled down hundreds of nominations to a shortlist of 16 heritage attractions.

The Egypt Centre is vying against four other museums in the Best Small Museum category.

Curator Dr Ken Griffin said: “We are thrilled to have been nominated. Since the museum opened its doors to the public in 1998, we have had a strong focus on families and young people. This includes family activities such as mummifying our dummy mummy, handling of real Egyptian antiquities, and playing the ancient board game Senet.

“To be in the running for this award recognises all the hard work undertaken by staff and our wonderful volunteers!”

The Egypt Centre is Wales’ only museum dedicated to Egyptian antiquities and houses around 6,000 objects in its collection. With a small team of staff and more than 100 enthusiastic volunteers, including Young Volunteers who run the Museum every Saturday, it boasts a popular schools programme and a variety of events, including workshops, talks and family activities.

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Over the summer holidays, the museum will be visited by undercover family judges who will assess the shortlisted museums against the Kids in Museums Manifesto. Their experiences will decide a winner for each award category and an overall winner of the Family Friendly Museum Award 2022.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in October.

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Music

Mike and the Mechanics to play Swansea Arena

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Mike & The Mechanics – who have sold more than ten million records worldwide – Have announced their “Refueled!” 2023 Tour – all the hits and a drop of Genesis.

They’re set to play Swansea’s brand new arena in May 2023 as part of an epic run of 34 UK concerts through April and May.

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Opening on April 12th, 2023 at the Barbican, York and including prestigious venues such as The Royal Albert Hall and Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall.

The Swansea Arena show is on Thursday May 11th 2023. Tickets go on sale Friday, June 24th at 10.00am from www.swansea-arena.co.uk.

Mike & The Mechanics are Genesis founding member Mike Rutherford (Guitar), one of the UK’s most prolific R&B singers; Andrew Roachford (Lead and backing vocals), whose previous hits include Cuddly Toy and Family Man; and Canadian-born Tim Howar (lead and backing vocals), who formed and toured his band Vantramp with the likes of Rod Stewart and Paulo Nutini. Tim shares vocal duties with Andrew and they both add a new soulful dimension to the band’s already established sound.

The “Refueled!” 2023 tour, will include tracks from Mike & The Mechanics’ critically acclaimed latest album Out of the Blue plus a smattering of Genesis favourites.

Their ninth album features re-workings of some of the band’s best loved tracks, including The Living Years and the unforgettable Over My Shoulder, along with three brand new songs Out Of The Blue, One Way and What Would You Do?

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Art

Iconic Swansea mural company opens unique pop-up in centre of Swansea

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Swansea’s Fresh Creative Co, known for adding colour to Swansea through large-scale murals across the city, has opened its first city-centre pop-up gallery in the Quadrant Shopping Centre.

The business, which is passionate about making art accessible to all, will showcase the work of seven emerging, local artists across the two-storey space until June 29.

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The ground floor will include powerful art by Fresh Creative artists, Dave Long, Mr Plob, Munch, and Rosanna Pitman.

While the first floor will be dedicated to the Friends of Fresh Creative and will showcase dynamic photos of musicians, courtesy of Lloyd from Stay Focused Photography, as well as a striking installation from Helena at Miss Chievious Gladrags, known for her stand-out, colourful clothes.

Gemma Ellen will also exhibit her digital prints of beautiful, hand-drawn illustrations which are a modern twist of the Welsh love spoon.

Commenting on the exhibition is David Toft, Director of Fresh Creative: “We believe that creativity is fundamental to being human and opportunities to be creative should be available to everyone.

“This is why having an exhibition of our work in such an accessible city-centre location is important to us. The unit in the Quadrant was a blank canvas for us and we love that we have been able to really make it our own so shoppers can see exactly what we’re all about.

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“As well as Fresh Creative Ltd, we also run a not-for-profit company Fresh Creative Abertawe CIC. This is where we provide creative opportunities for children, young people, and members of marginalised and disadvantaged groups, through running a number of creative graffiti and spray can workshops.

“We also design and deliver art projects with schools and community organisations, which is something we plan to explore using the space in the Quadrant.”

Lisa Hartley, Quadrant Shopping Centre manager, said: “We’re in such a fantastic location at the Quadrant to reach out to the whole of Swansea. That’s why we’re the perfect place to host pop-up exhibitions like this to give our shoppers and city centre visitors a chance to experience something new. The Fresh Creative exhibition is truly an incredible display of the best of Swansea and the talent by local artists is second to none.”

Other well-known Fresh Creative projects include the striking mural on the side of Russel T Davies’ Mumbles home, and the beautifully painted utility boxes across the region.

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