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A Dictionary of Artists in Wales

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It’s not often that new source material for the study of artists in Wales is published. After many years of preparation, this spring sees the launch of A Dictionary of Artists in Wales, prepared by Peter W. Jones and Isobel Hitchman.

There are (mostly) short entries on hundreds of artists who have worked in Wales since 1945 (the end date for information is 2007), and this includes a number of artists who have worked in stained and architectural glass. Many of them are also represented in Stained Glass from Welsh Churches, but some who trained and worked in Wales are not, finding commissions outside of Wales or for public places other than places of worship.

Inevitably there are a couple of notable omissions. In particular I was sorry to find no inclusion of Colwyn Morris, who worked as a cartoonist at Powell’s of Whitefriars in the 1950s and 60s before designing numerous windows made at Tim Lewis’ studio from the 1980s until his death in 2011. Similarly John Edwards, who also taught on the stained glass course in Swansea, is not included. His powerful work for Celtic Studios in the late 1950s and 1960s is something that I tried to highlight in the book, and, like Colwyn Morris, he has made many more recent works with Tim Lewis.

Also missing is Marjorie Walters, briefly married to the painter Evan Walters, who also worked at Powell’s and then returned to Swansea as Howard Martin’s first assistant on the stained glass course at Swansea College of Art. From my conversations with students who were on the course in the 1970s I found that she was remembered very fondly, but firm details about her were difficult to establish, and I was grateful to Marilyn Griffiths and Kirstine Dunthorne for their help. It is thought that she designed as well as cartooned the transept window at the Church of St Mary, Swansea (the east window at the church, also by Powells, was cartooned by Colwyn Morris), but no one that I spoke to could point to any actual evidence for this. It may of course have been the case that the work of interpreting a design by E. Liddall Armitage as a cartoon might have almost amounted to the design of the window.

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