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30 Jun 2011

National Museum of Art, Wales

Copyright: Matt Cant photogrpahy

New modern & contemporary galleries complete Wales's National Museum of Art
Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales


Press view - Thursday 7 July, 12.00pm
New exhibition opens from 10.00 on Saturday 9 July
Open 10.00-17.00 Tuesday - Sunday

Lleucu Cooke
0044 2920 573175

National Museum Cardiff
Cathays Park
Cardiff CF10 3NP

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A new stage for art in Wales
New modern and contemporary art galleries complete
Wales's National Museum of Art

From 9 July 2011, Wales will have its own National Museum of Art, showcasing the full range of the nation's world-class art collection under one roof at National Museum Cardiff. For the first time, the National Museum's mix of fine and applied art, from the historic to the contemporary, will be shown in a single series of integrated galleries, giving a new visibility to art in Wales and to the art of Wales.

Visitors will be able to enjoy the story of Wales's unique visual tradition and its place within a wider British and international context through works from Tudor to modern Wales, outstanding European Old Master paintings of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, masterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism drawn largely from the world-class collection of French art bequeathed by Gwendoline and Margaret Davies, and an inspiring contemporary collection.

The West Wing – six impressive new contemporary art galleries – will be the biggest space of its kind in Wales. Previously, 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. This development will give the Museum nearly 800 square metres more space to show the strength and range of art produced in Wales since the 1950s, and how this relates to the international scene.

The opening display in July 2011 – I cannot escape this place – will include works by artists associated with Wales such as Josef Herman and Shani Rhys James alongside leading British and international artists including Lucian Freud, David Hockney and Rachel Whiteread.

Michael Tooby, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales's Director of Learning, Programmes and Presentations, who has played a key role in the creation of the National Museum of Art, which has cost £6.5m overall, said:

'The National Museum of Art will appeal to the entire range of the Museum's visitors and is a huge step forward for Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales in the way in which we show and interpret our collection. The rebuilding and redisplay project will also be presented as an integrated display with its own identity for the first time, reflecting the way it transforms the awareness of the visual arts in Wales.'

David Anderson, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales's Director General, who considers the National Museum of Art as one of the Museum's key projects added:

'The country's collection of works by Welsh artists and international names is outstanding. For the first time, the nation has galleries of an international standard that tell the unique story of Welsh art and how the country had evolved.

'Our mission is to inspire the creativity of future generations; these galleries are a vital part of that strategy.'

In addition, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales continues to hold as a long-term aspiration the creation of a National Gallery of Art. The strategy, which will also see the development of a new National Museum of Natural History, is part of the long-term master planning of the National Museum site, and is supported by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales is grateful to the Welsh Assembly Government for their support and to the following sponsors of the National Museum of Art: Colwinston Charitable Trust, The Derek Williams Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Henry Moore Foundation, The Wolfson Foundation and many generous donations from smaller Trusts and individuals.

National Museum Cardiff is one of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales's seven national museums. The others are St Fagans: National History Museum, the National Roman Legionary Museum, Big Pit: National Coal Museum, the National Wool Museum, the National Slate Museum and the National Waterfront Museum.

Entry to each Museum is free thanks to the support of the Welsh Assembly Government.