AuaThe DAVIES SISTERS of Gregynog Hall (Powis ).                      

” Approach  life and art with love” (a Picasso quote I believe ) is truly personified by Gwendoline(1882-1951 ) and Margaret (1886-1963 ) with their lifestyle and achievements.

TheDavies sisters,social philanthropists and art collectors were the granddaughters of industrialist David Davies. They were idependantly wealthy, their fortunes inherited from the businesses created by their grandfather.

They grew up in Plas Dinham, Montgomeryshire and were educated iHighfieldSchool, Hendon.

Their upbringing was strictly Calvinistic Methodism and both girls were steadfast churchgoers, teetotallers and Sabatarians. Though extremely attractive ,these two extraordinary women led very sheltered lives. They had never danced , never married , and as far is known never went on a date. At the start of the 20th. Century, they were the two richest unwed women in the British Isles.

Neither sister enjoyed good health but they still poured their energies into social philanthropy and into art.

They began collecting art in 1907, concentrating on pre-impressionist painting, in particular French Avant Garde art.The sisters were much bolder than their advisors,although sometimes unconventional, they proved to have unerring good taste.Their purchases included Corot, Millet, Daumier and Turner.

In 1912 they turned their attention to impressionist and post impressionist art . Buying amongst other things, three of Monet’s water lilies paintings.

They also bought the sort of art  no one would associate with the image of Calvinistic Welsh spinsters. Like Cezanne’s sexist figurative works and a group of extremely sensual Rodins’.

By the 1920’sthey decided they could not afford the luxury of buying art with the appalling need of humanity to be addressed.

Instead of adding to their collection, they had to decide what to do with it.

They eventually agreed that the National Gallery of Wales(a building they had largely paid for ) should have it to enrich Welsh culture and rid the perennial blindness of their countrymen.

I trust you’ll agree “they approached life and art with love” . Showing at all times their faith and convictions, contributing with their monies and time , assisting the victims of war torn Europe in the hospitals of Paris and subsequently enriching the lives of others with their wonderful art collection.

One comment on “AuaThe DAVIES SISTERS of Gregynog Hall (Powis ).                      

  1. Stephen Delwyn says:

    Interesting story. “Approach Life and Art with Love” good advice!

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