Monday, 19 December 2011

Gwen John – lost watercolours discovered

A collection of 23 paintings by Welsh artist Gwen John (1876-1939) have been discovered in the archives of Princeton University Library. You can find out more from this BBC News article and this blog entry from Princeton’s Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. This is a significant find, particularly as Gwen John’s work was rarely exhibited in her lifetime. The watercolours are currently on display in the university’s Firestone Library, but only until the 31st December, so you’ll have to hurry across the pond to New Jersey to catch them before the end of next week!

It’s unlikely that many SMU staff and students will make it to Princeton to see this collection, but it provides a perfect excuse for us all to find out a bit more about the woman herself. During her lifetime, Gwen was somewhat overshadowed by her artist brother Augustus John, but in recent times she has risen in status. She led a fascinating life – taught by Whistler, she modelled for and became romantically involved with Rodin for a time – so why not look her up on our databases Oxford Reference Online or Art Full Text? You’ll also find lots of books about Gwen John and her brother at Griffith Library on our Dynevor campus – just look them up on our catalogue, Talis Prism.

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