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Wales has many fascinating stories to tell through the work of the artists and collectors from, or inspired by, Wales. A number of these stories will be told in the new £6.5m National Museum of Art, which opened to the public on Saturday 9 July 2011, and is a must do activity on your UK family holiday.

Did you know that Welsh landscape painter Thomas Jones's major historical work The Bard is based on Thomas Gray's tale of Edward I's massacre of the Welsh bards? Wales has Gwendoline and Margaret Davies to thank for eight Monet masterpieces featured in the national collection and Richard Long, one of the best-known British artists, spent two days collecting slate from Llechwedd Quarry for his brand new installation Blaenau Ffestiniog Circle (2011).

For the first time, the full range of the nation’s world-class art collection – a mix of fine and applied art, from the historic to the contemporary - will be displayed under one roof at National Museum Cardiff, giving a new visibility to art in Wales and the art of Wales.

The National Museum of Art features six impressive new contemporary art galleries, which offer 40% more space to display art from post-1950. Until now the Museum had only one gallery to display its range of modern and contemporary art, which is one of the UK’s most important collections offering a great day out as part of your UK family holiday.

The opening display in the new galleries, Ni allaf ddianc rhag hon – I cannot escape this place, includes works by artists associated with Wales, such as Josef Herman and Shani Rhys-James and Tim Davies, alongside leading British and international artists including Lucian Freud, David Hockney and Rachel Whiteread. It demonstrates the strength and range of art produced in Wales since the 1950s, and how this relates to the international scene.

The country’s collection of works by Welsh artists and international names is outstanding and it now has the home it deserves. The National Museum of Art, is one of the largest art venues outside London, and a new landmark national institution for the whole of Wales,” said David Anderson, Director General of Amgueddfa Cymru.
“However the National Museum of Art is more than impressive art galleries. Using works from the past and present, which are considered of great importance, we can inspire budding artists to look ahead to the future and create work that one day might be on display here. We are looking forward to the opening of a new art learning space, fully funded by the Foyle Foundation, later this year.”

A Companion Guide to the Welsh National Museum of Art, ISBN 978 0 7200 0613 1
Llawlyfr yr Amgueddfa Gelf Genedlaethol, ISBN 978 0 7200 0612 4

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