Item NLW MS 23925E, ff. 20-23. - Gwen John and Cecily Langdale letters,

Identity area

Reference code

NLW MS 23925E, ff. 20-23.


Gwen John and Cecily Langdale letters,


  • 1930, 1980 / (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

4 ff.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Gwendolen Mary (Gwen) John, painter, was born in Haverfordwest, the elder sister of the artist Augustus John. In 1895 she entered the Slade School of Fine Art in London, where her fellow students included Ursula Tyrwhitt and Ida Nettleship (afterwards wife of Augustus John). In 1904 John settled permanently in Paris. In the same year she met the sculptor Auguste Rodin, with whom she had a stormy relationship. She was introduced by Augustus to the American lawyer and collector John Quinn and his companion Jeanne Robert Foster. Amongst her circle of acquaintances was the revolutionary, feminist and actress Maud Gonne and Dorelia (formerly Dorothy) McNeill, who became Augustus's lifelong companion. In 1913, John was received into the Catholic church and thereafter produced many ecclesiastically-themed paintings. In her later years she formed an attachment to the Russian-Jewish émigré Véra Oumançoff, who lived near John in the Paris suburb of Meudon. It is believed that John ceased to produce any works of art after about 1933. Following John's death her artistic reputation was revived by numerous exhibitions both in Britain and the United States, the first taking place in London in 1946. Her collected works are divided between public collections and the National Museum and Gallery in Cardiff; those of her works owned by John Quinn remained in the United States.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Mr Napier Collyns (son of Rachel Collyns); London; Purchase; October 2004; 0200410963.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Letter, 14 June 1930, from Gwen John, Meudon, to fellow artist [Mary] Constance [Lloyd], concerning Ursula Tyrwhitt and her recent indiscretions (f. 20).
Also included are three letters, June-August 1980, from art historian Cecily Langdale, New York, to Mrs Rachel Collyns, Bristol, niece of Mary Constance Lloyd, relating to Gwen John (ff. 21-23), and supplying background information on John's letter and on Tyrwhitt (f. 23).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Arranged chronologically at NLW.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply. Information regarding ownership of Gwen John copyright can be found at (viewed February 2011).

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Language and script notes


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Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

For related correspondence of Gwen John and Constance Lloyd see NLW MS 22300B, f. 41, and NLW MS 22308C, f. 7; for Tyrwhitt's letter to John, [21 May ?1930], see NLW MS 22311D, f. 84.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title based on contents.


Preferred citation: NLW MS 23925E, ff. 20-23.

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GEAC system control number


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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

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Dates of creation revision deletion




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Physical storage

  • Text: NLW MS 23925E, ff. 20-23.