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National Library of Wales
Richards, Ceri and Frances, manuscripts

Reference code(s): GB 0210 MSCERICH

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Ceri and Frances Richards MSS

Short Title: Richards, Ceri and Frances, manuscripts

Creation date(s): [1900s]-1985

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 10 volumes

Name of creator(s): Ceri Richards; Frances Richards


Administrative/Biographical history: Ceri Giraldus Richards, artist, was born at Dunvant near Swansea. He studied at Swansea School of Art from 1920 to 1924 and from there won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art, which he attended from 1924 to 1927. It was here that he met Frances Clayton (1901-1985) from Stoke-on-Trent; they married in 1929 and Frances herself became a distinguished painter, graphic artist, draughtswoman and illustrator. Ceri Richards continued to live in London after graduating and became a leading contributor amongst the small group of artists who were interested in the international modern movement. In 1934 Richards began to make pictorial relief constructions assembled from pieces of wood, which were highly influenced by the work of Picasso and Hans Arp; later, he would use an eclectic variety of materials in the construction of reliefs which reflected the nature of the subjects. In 1939 Ceri and Frances Richards moved to Cardiff, where Ceri taught graphic art at Cardiff School of Art. He was also at this time commissioned by the Ministry of Information to record the South Wales tin-plate workers, which he did in a series of black and white ink drawings. During the post-war years, Richards was heavily influenced in his art by the poetical works of Dylan Thomas and, from the 1950s, he also worked for much of the time in lithograph and screen print. In 1964-5 he designed stained glass for Derby Cathedral and in 1965 was commissioned to design the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at Liverpool Roman Catholic Cathedral. Richards was appointed CBE in 1960 and awarded an honourary DLitt by the University of Wales the following year. He also won the Gold Medal at the Dyffryn Maelor National Eisteddfod of 1961 and the Einaudi prize for painting at the Venice Biennale of 1962-3. Ceri Richards died in London.


Scope and content/abstract: Papers, [1900s]-1985, of artists Ceri and Frances Richards. They comprise correspondence, 1928-1985, to and from Ceri and Frances Richards; sketchbooks and drawings, [c. 1930]-[1970s], of Ceri and Frances Richards, together with a catalogue, 1968-1971, of their works; notes on paintings, 1960s, by Ceri Richards; and family photographs, [1900s]-[1960s], of Ceri and Frances Richards.


Language/scripts of material: English, Welsh

System of arrangement: Arranged according to NLW MSS reference numbers: NLW MSS 23005-23014.

Conditions governing access: Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions noted on the 'Modern papers - data protection' form issued with their Readers' Tickets.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright laws apply.

Finding aids: Description based on Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, vol. 9 (Aberystwyth, 2003).


Accruals: No accruals expected.

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Purchased from Mrs Rhiannon Gooding and donated by Mrs Rachel Patterson, daughters of Ceri and Frances Richards, London, in 1991.


Related material: Miscellaneous printed material relating to Ceri Richards included in this group is NLW ex 1378.


Note: Title based on contents.

Archivist's note: Description compiled by Bethan Ifans for the retrospective conversion project of NLW MSS. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Volume IX (Aberystwyth, 2003); Oxford Dictionary of National Biography WWW site; Cydymaith i Lenyddiaeth Cymru (Llandysul, 1986).

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition; AACR2; and LCSH.

Date(s) of descriptions: March 2009

Richards, Ceri, 1903-1971 | Correspondence
Richards, Ceri, 1903-1971 | Pictorial works
Richards, Frances, 1901-1985 | Correspondence
Richards, Frances, 1901-1985 | Pictorial works

Personal names
Richards , Ceri , 1903-1971
Richards , Frances , 1901-1985.

Corporate names


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