The Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion

Promoting the language, literature, arts and science of Wales

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John Brett in Wales

January 21, 2015, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Ann Sumner
Executive Director, the Bronte Society

Ann Sumner

Ann Sumner is a former Head of Fine Art at the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff (2000 – 2007). She was educated at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London and studied for her PhD at Newnham College, University of Cambridge.  She has held curatorial posts at the National Portrait Gallery, Holburne Museum, University of Bath, Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester and Dulwich Picture Gallery.  In 2007 she became Director of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Birmingham and Professor of Fine Art and Curatorial Practice. Ann went on to be Director of Birmingham Museums Trust and the Bronte Society.  Ann remains a visiting Professor at the University of Birmingham and lectures regularly.

She has a long interest in the art and landscape of Wales and curated the John Brett exhibition in 2001 and Thomas Jones exhibition in 2003 at the National Museum in Cardiff and is currently researching the Welsh artist Penry Williams. In her lecture she will discuss the attraction of the dramatic Welsh landscape to artists and the relationship the Pre-Raphaelite painter John Brett had specifically to the coastline of Wales,  where he found inspiration from the mid 1860s until the late 1890s.  His earlier paintings of the north coast of Wales will be discussed and compared with the better known Pembrokeshire scenes and his work on the Gower and Bristol Channel.  This lecture will give the opportunity to learn more about some of Brett’s most famous paintings such as Britannia’s Realm (Tate) of 1880 and The Isles of Skomer and Skokham of 1891 (Aberdeen Art Gallery), as well as hearing about Brett as a family man and his love of sailing and the sea and visiting Wales, where he purchased a property in Fishguard.


Professor Daniel Cohn-Sherbok in the chair

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