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National Library of Wales
Elwyn, John, papers

Reference code(s): GB 0210 MSJOHNELW

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: John Elwyn Papers

Short Title: Elwyn, John, papers

Creation date(s): 1938-1997

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 9 volumes

Name of creator(s): John Elwyn


Administrative/Biographical history: John Elwyn (William John Elwyn Davies, 1916-1997), artist, was born 20 November 1916 at Adpar, Newcastle Emlyn, Cardiganshire, the youngest child of David and Anne Davies. He attended Adpar County Junior School and Llandysul County Grammar School, before going on to Carmarthen School of Art, 1935-1937, the West of England College of Art, Bristol, 1937-1938, and the Royal College of Art, London, 1938-1940. During the Second World War he worked on the land as a Conscientious Objector; he then returned to finish his course at the Royal College of Art, 1946-1947. He taught at Portsmouth College of Art, 1948-1953, before moving to Winchester College of Art, where he taught until his retirement in 1976.
As an artist he became best known for his paintings of the landscape and society of his youth in West Wales, as well as of the mining area of Pontrhydyfen (where he had worked during the War) and his portrait paintings. He also worked as an illustrator, contributing to the Radio Times and the Shell Guides to the Countryside, and to volumes such as Leslie Harries, Chwe Drama Fer (Llandysul, 1944) and Dafydd ap Gwilym, Houses of Leaves (Llandogo, 1993). His work was exhibited widely in galleries throughout Britain, as well as the National Museum of Wales and the National Library of Wales, which held a retrospective exhibition in 1996. He was a member of the Royal Cambrian Academy and the Gorsedd of Bards and was awarded an Honorary DLitt by the University of Wales in 1996. John Elwyn married Gillian Butterworth in 1970 and died in Southampton on 13 November 1997.


Scope and content/abstract: Correspondence, 1938-1997, and miscellaneous personal papers, 1944-1995, of John Elwyn, including letters relating to commissions and exhibitions. Among the more notable correspondents are Winifred Coombe Tennant, Nicholas Evans, Alun Hoddinott, Glyn Jones, John Petts, Ceri Richards and Kyffin Williams.


Language/scripts of material: English, Welsh

System of arrangement: Arranged according to NLW MSS reference numbers: NLW MSS 23531C, 23797-804.

Conditions governing access: Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions set out in information provided when applying for their Readers' Tickets, whereby the reader shall become responsible for compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 in relation to any processing by them of personal data obtained from modern records held at the Library.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright laws apply.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records have been retained

Accruals: Accruals are not expected

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Donated by Dr John Elwyn, Winchester (per Dr Emyr Wyn Jones, Rhiw), July 1996 (NLW MS 23531C); purchased (with NLW ex 2053) from Mrs Gillian Butterworth (widow of John Elwyn), Winchester, July 1998 (NLW MSS 23797-804).


Related material: For miscellaneous printed ephemera and personal papers of John Elwyn see also NLW ex 2053; for papers of his father see NLW, Papurau David Davies (Ffatri Emlyn, Adpar).

Publication note: Robert Meyrick, John Elwyn (Aldershot, 2000)


Note: Title based on contents

Archivist's note: Description compiled by Rhys Morgan Jones. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Robert Meyrick, John Elwyn (Aldershot, 2000); Meic Stephens, 'John Elwyn', Independent, 25 November 1997.

Rules or conventions: Description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH

Date(s) of descriptions: April 2013

Elwyn, John, | 1916-1997 | Archives
Elwyn, John, | 1916-1997 | Correspondence

Personal names
Coombe Tennant , Winifred , 1874-1956
Elwyn , John , 1916-1997
Evans , Nicholas , 1907-
Hoddinott , Alun , 1929-2008
Jones , Glyn , 1905-1995
Petts , John , 1914-1991
Richards , Ceri , 1903-1971
Williams , Kyffin , 1918-2006

Corporate names


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