National Museum Cardiff
Gwendoline Davies (1882-1951) and Margaret Davies (1884-1963) were the granddaughters of David Davies who made his fortune during the industrialisation of Victorian Wales.
He built much of the railway system in mid-Wales and was a pioneer of the coal industry in south Wales.
The Davies sisters grew up at Plas Dinam, Montgomeryshire. Their childhood was dominated by the strict beliefs of Calvinistic Methodism. They learned that it was their Christian duty to make good use of the great wealth they would inherit.
As young women they developed a deep love of the visual arts and music and travelled widely in Europe. Both sisters served with the French Red Cross during the First World War.
Their experiences made them determined to help people whose lives had been shattered by the war.
In 1920 they purchased Gregynog Hall intending to create an arts and crafts community. It housed the Gregynog Press and flourished as a conference and music centre.
The sisters championed social, economic, educational and cultural initiatives in Wales and beyond. Their idealism and generosity had a remarkable impact on the cultural and intellectual life of Wales which is still with us today.