This week saw the rehang of the Augustus and Gwen John pictures in the museum. Last year the museum was fortunate enough to be the recipient (via bequest) of six Augustus John etchings and having had these recently reframed by volunteer Martin Baldwin, our resident framer, the time for the rehang was ripe.
Previously one wall had been dedicated to Tenby’s famed artists but now brother and sister have a wall to themselves, giving the pictures the opportunity to breath in their own space. The marked differences in styles are now more than noticeable. There are now 19 Augustus works in the gallery (20 if you include his sculpture bust of Dorelia) and 13 works by Gwen. There is also a case of their personal memorabilia including Augustus’ pipe and Gwen’s painting smock as well as a case of ephemera about Gwen.
2016 marks the 140th anniversary of Gwen’s birth so this re-hang was well timed. To mark this anniversary, we have borrowed five additional Gwen works to hang alongside our existing works and a piece has been specifically written for the display by Cecily Langdale (of Davis and Langdale Company Inc. Art Gallery, New York, and author of Gwen John with a Catalogue Raisonne of the Paintings and a Selection of the Drawings) which also talks specifically about some of the works on show.
Even if you have seen some of these pictures on previous visits to the gallery, I recommend a resist to the show. The works appear fresher with the rehang and sit with different neighbours to before. They also have more space and seem so very much alive.