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Pen Merch Ifanc / Young Female Head
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Oriel Môn

Pen Merch Ifanc / Young Female Head 1912

Harry Hughes Williams (1892–1953)

Oriel Môn

Prolific painter, illuminator and teacher, born at Pentraeth, Anglesey, son of a farmer, whose family moved to Mynydd Mwyn Farm, Llandrygarn, in 1894. Because he concealed a broken hip after falling from a building when aged 11, Hughes Williams was always disabled. After secondary education at Liverpool’s Collegiate School, from 1911–14 Hughes Williams studied at Liverpool City School of Art, won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art and there gained a European travelling scholarship, which the war stopped him taking up. His teachers had included W R Lethaby and W C Penn. Prevented by poor health from war service, Hughes Williams returned to Anglesey, created a studio from a farm granary and began a tough life as a freelance artist, often surviving through commemorative paintings and illuminated addresses.

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

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