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.