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Welshman's collection of British art on exhibit in Scotland

Welshman Derek Williams has been the greatest benefactor to Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales since Gwendoline and Margaret Davies. Now works from the Derek Williams Trust Collection are going to Scotland to be shown in a new exhibition at the Pier Arts Centre in Stromness in Orkney from Saturday 1st September – 17 November and at the City Art Centre in Edinburgh from 1st  December until 24 February 2013.


An exhibition of over forty works by some of the greatest British artists of the 20th century will be shown at the Pier Arts Centre. The Derek Williams Trust Collection contains works by L.S. Lowry, Henry Moore, John Piper, Ceri Richards, and Ivon Hitchens among others and is currently on a limited tour of the UK.

The exhibition’s display at the Pier Arts Centre is sponsored by Allianz and Clark Thomson Insurance Brokers and the national tour is supported by the Derek Williams Trust and Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales.

Derek Williams (1929-1984), a chartered surveyor who lived and worked in Cardiff, began to build his collection in the 1950s. His passion for modern British art attracted him to the work of John Piper and Ceri Richards, whose works make up the majority of his collection. These are supported with works by other major figures of mid-twentieth century British art such as Stanley Spencer, Victor Pasmore and Lucian Freud. The whole collection is on long-term loan to Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales.

The Curator of the Derek Williams Trust Collection, Melissa Munro said, “'During his life Derek Williams built an incredible collection of modern British art, which continues to be developed today by the Derek Williams Trust.  Both Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales and the Derek Williams Trust are extremely pleased to be bringing this unique collection to Scotland and with it a greater awareness of the collection outside of Wales.'”

The Derek Williams Trust was established following the collector’s death. The Trust is committed to the care, enhancement and public display of the Derek Williams’ collection. In addition, the Trust provides generous support in furthering the acquisition of post-1900 works of art at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales.

The Curator of the Pier Arts Centre, Andrew Parkinson added, “We are very pleased indeed to bring such a fine collection of British art to Orkney.  While the Derek Williams Collection roughly matches the Pier Collection in time it represents a very different approach to the British landscape and abstract painting.  Artists like Ivon Hitchens, John Piper and David Jones work in a more romantic and pastoral vein and it will be interesting to view their work and the other artists in the Derek Williams Collection, alongside the Modernist core of the Pier Arts Centre Collection.”

Melissa Munro, Curator of the Derek Williams Collection will give a guided tour of the exhibition on Saturday 1 September at 2pm.  Admission is free and all are welcome.



Date: 28 August 2012
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