John Cyrlas Williams - 'A Brief Flowering'

4th - 30 August 2017

Opening Event on Friday 4th August from 6.30pm in the Chate Room

with an introduction by the art historian, Peter Lord.

John Cyrlas Williams (1902-1965) was once tipped as one of Wales’ most promising young painters. The son of a collier, he was born into a Welsh mining community in the United States. His father went on to become a mine owner, and the family set up home in Porthcawl.

Williams painted his first pictures in 1918 and trained initially at the Newlyn School under Stanhope Forbes. Later he pursued his training in Paris. However, all Williams’ pictures were painted before he reached the age of 30. Subsequently, alcoholism and other personal problems curtailed the career of the painter whose work was described by Winifred Coombe Tennant – his patron in the 1920s – quite simply as “the real thing”. Eventually he abandoned painting, spending the rest of his working life as a clerk.

The art historian Peter Lord, who curates this exhibition with Peter Rossiter, first learnt about Williams while researching his biography of famous patron of the arts Winifred Coombe-Tennant. Then, in April 2009, the Welsh painter Mike Jones told him he had found 150 paintings by Williams at a saleroom in Clydach following their discovery in a Porthcawl attic. Lord and Jones worked to keep as much of the work together as possible, purchasing a total of 60 paintings between them.

These paintings are very, very good and they make up a fascinating piece of art history,” says Lord. “The “Williams’ story is a tragedy because he was enormously talented but he succumbed to alcoholism.

King Street Gallery is delighted to be showing a selection of John Cyrlas Williams paintings in the Chate Room this August.

Featured Artist Maria Pierides


Maria joins the gallery in 2016 and is a painter who renders in colour the physical and emotional landscapes that formed her experience of being born in Greece and then growing up in England and Cyprus.

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King Street Gallery cooperative includes artists from a wide range of disciplines,including contemporary fine art, ceramics, photographers, stained glass, wood turning, textiles and sculpture.

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John Cyrlas Williams - 'A Brief Flowering'

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