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Painter and curator, born in London, son of Sir Harold Bell who was keeper of manuscripts and Egerton librarian at the British Museum. David Bell attended Merchant Taylors’ School, then studied art at Chelsea School of Art, 1933, and the Royal College of Art, 1933–7, where his teachers included Gilbert Spencer. Bell then spent two years as a draughtsman with the Egyptian Exploration Society. He was the Arts Council’s assistant director for Wales, 1946–51, then until his death curator of the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea. That gallery gave him a memorial show in 1960–1, and he had already exhibited widely in Wales. Bell was a prolific writer on art, his books including the notable The Language of Pictures, 1953, and The Artist in Wales, 1957.

Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)

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