An Elusive Tradition

Art and Society in Wales 1870-1950

Eric Rowan and Carolyn Stewart

An Elusive Tradition

Eric Rowan and Carolyn Stewart

Distributed for University of Wales Press

234 pages | 20 color plates, 40 halftones | 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 | © 2002
Cloth $49.95 ISBN: 9780708317693 Published December 2002 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only

The period 1870–1950 is often thought of as a dark age in the artistic history of Wales. Many observers believed that the lack of a visible national school of painting and sculpture meant that the visual arts in Wales were moribund. In An Elusive Tradition, Eric Rowan and Carolyn Stewart challenge this view and demonstrate that in fact the visual arts in Wales were more vigorous and varied than was thought at the time.

An Elusive Tradition comprises a series of fully illustrated studies of relatively neglected aspects of art in Wales. It discusses Welsh art in relation to its geographical, cultural and international contexts and focuses on the artists and patrons, both Welsh and non-Welsh, who ensured that the arts in Wales continued to flourish, including William Burges, Frederick Rolfe, Theodore Baily, David Jones, Eric Gill, Augustus John, J. D. Innes, Baron Howard de Walden, the Third Marquess of Bute, the Davies sisters and John Quinn.

One    William Burges and the Marquess of Bute
Two    Baron Corvo in Holywell and Crickhowell
Three  Augustus John and J.D. Innes at Arenig
Four    Belgian Artists Exiled in Wales
Five    The Genesis of the Davies Collection
Six      Art and Faith at Caldey and Capel-y-ffin
Seven  The Artistic and Social Odyssey of Cedric Morris
Review Quotes
Times Literary Supplement

“. . . wide-ranging and fascinating study . . .” –Times Literary Supplement


“It is a collection of highly readable and thoughtful essays . . .” –Planet

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