Page last updated at 11:34 GMT, Thursday, 3 July 2008 12:34 UK

Landscapes launch new galleries

The Bard by Thomas Jones
The Bard by Thomas Jones will feature in the Art in Britain 1700-1800 gallery

The Welsh landscape is under the spotlight at National Museum Cardiff with the launch of four new galleries dedicated to celebrating art in Wales.

Many of the finest artistic impressions of Wales over 300 years will be on show in the Welsh Landscape Gallery.

Elsewhere in the galleries, visitors can learn about four 18th Century Welsh artists, view oil sketches of nature and see Welsh works in a wider context.

The new galleries and four others which opened in December 2007, cost 350,000.

Among the pieces going on display in the landscape gallery is a painting of Tenby by Francis Place which dates from 1678 and is the oldest artwork on display.

Bulls Head by Heather Ackroyd uses real materials from the landscape, such as grass.

'Huge step forward'

The Art in Britain 1700-1800 gallery places Welsh artists in the broader context of their time and includes The Bard by Thomas Jones.

A new gallery of Victorian painting and sculpture, as well as a gallery devoted to images of Welsh people of the 19th and 20th Centuries follow in December 2008.

The new galleries are one of the many steps being taken by the National Museum Wales towards creating a National Museum of Art in Cardiff.

Oliver Fairclough, keeper of art at National Museum Cardiff said the collection was "inspirational".

"New wall texts and introductory graphics are complemented by learning points which provide sophisticated hands-on activity for younger people," he said.

"This is a huge step forward for National Museum Cardiff in the way in which we interpret our collections."

At least 70% of the funding for the new galleries came from external sources, including a grant from the Wolfson Foundation, which is a charitable foundation that awards grants in many fields, including the arts.

The Welsh Assembly Government also contributed, along with many private donors.


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