About the Contemporary Art Society for Wales (CASW)

The Society was conceived in the 1930s following the economic depression and resulted from a belief in the ability of the visual arts to uplift the human spirit in times of material adversity. In 1935 a major touring exhibition of contemporary art was promoted by a prominent group of London-Welsh and was curated by Augustus John. The following year the group arranged a high grade exhibition at the National Eisteddfod in Fishguard, using it to involve notable Welsh-based individuals to explore the formation of a society devoted largely to indigenous contemporary art.

And so it was that the Society was formed under the chairmanship of the charismatic Lord Howard de Walden of Chirk Castle, a distinguished collector and President of the Contemporary Art Society, the UK body set up 20 years previously, with the inaugural meeting taking place in 1937. As set out in the Constitution:

The objects of the Society shall be to foster and promote the maintenance, improvement and development of artistic taste and the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the arts among the people of Wales and for this purpose but not otherwise the Society shall have power to purchase contemporary works of art of accepted importance and to arrange for exhibitions of such works for the benefit of the public and to present them to Welsh charitable institutions.


CASW Then and Now Exhibition 

Then + Now: 80 Years of Collecting Contemporary Art for Wales’ celebrates the 80th anniversary of the Society’s first acquisition. This touring exhibition is now at Oriel Plas Glyn Y-Weddw and includes work by some of Wales’ leading painters, sculptors and film makers from the 1930s to the present day including Gwen John, Tim Davies and Shani Rhys James. Exhibition ends 24th Nov 2018. See the website for more details – https://www.oriel.org.uk

From the 8th December 2018 until the 26 January 2019 the CASW Then and Now exhibition will open in MOMA Machynlleth. See website for more details http://moma.machynlleth.org.uk/

The exhibition will move to the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea, and open on the 9 February to 12 May 2019. See website for more details https://www.swansea.gov.uk/glynnvivian


CASW National Eisteddfod Purchase Prize 2018

Andrew Renton for the National Museum of Wales chose the CASW Purchase Prize 2018 at the National Eisteddfod in Cardiff. The work selected is An Archive of Longing (Material Presence) by Zoe Preece. The work is made up of a number of porcelain pieces  of various dimensions.


Material Presence - Zoe Preece Photography Dewi Tennant Lloyd

Material Presence – Zoe Preece
Photography Dewi Tennant Lloyd

CASW Tuesday Evening Free Lectures

7:30pm- Chemistry Lecture Theatre (1-123), Cardiff University, Park Place, CF10 3AT.  Main Building car park (free) is accessed from Park Place. No booking is required for these events



Andre Stitt – Painting the New Town – 22nd January 2019

Born in Belfast Andre Stitt studied at Belfast School of Art from 1976-1980. He is now Professor of Performance and Interdisciplinary Art at Cardiff School of Art. He also teaches Fine Art and has been Programme Director of Time Based Practice. He has worked as. An...

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CASW Lisvane Lectures and Lunches

All CASW Saturday lectures are held in Lisvane Memorial Hall, Lisvane CF14 0SQ  
Members are required to book for these events


Shani Rhys-James: All Is Flux – 19th January 2019

  Shani Rhys-James MBE is someone whose work is instantly recognisable among Welsh artists. Born in Australia, she was educated from the age of 9 in London. She studied Art at Loughborough College of Art and Design, going on to take a degree in Fine Art at St....

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CASW Study Trips


Generally CASW study trips are open to members only. Booking is essential.

CASW Study Tours 2019

Two study tours are being offered by CASW in 2019. A study tour to Malaga and Cadiz in April and  Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp and Brussels in September. Itinerary and booking information have been sent to all  CASW members....

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