UW Press Books reach Wales Book of the Year 2010 long list

Posted on 21 April 2010
MeanofPictures

A book that examines Welsh pictures painted between the 18th and 20th century, and a publication marking the bicentennial of the 19th century Welsh intellectual Lewis Edwards’s birth, have both been selected for The Wales Book of the Year 2010 Long List.

Entering into the English language category will be Peter Lord’s ‘The Meaning of Pictures: Images of Personal, Social and Political Identity'. This is a book that explores how pictures are understood by the people who use them – patrons, museum curators and the public, as opposed to painters who paint them. Competing in the Welsh language category will be 'Lewis Edwards' by Professor Densil Morgan, whose work provides a long awaited re-appraisal of, arguably, one of the most influential figures in 19th century Wales. Both works are published by the University of Wales Press.

'The Meaning of Pictures' has also been recently shortlisted for the prestigious Berger Prize for British Art History 2010.

Consisting of a series of chapters on different aspects of painting, which are unified by a common theme, Peter Lord takes the reader on a Welsh Art whistle-stop tour. Here’s your opportunity to learn more about eighteenth-century artworks, nineteenth-century art genres and our significant twentieth century artists. Peter also looks at how these pictures are valued by museums and the art market and how, since the 1980s, the Welsh art establishment has fought a reactionary battle against the New Art History movement.

The chapters are unified by their concern with the question of how a tradition of art is created, what effect a tradition has on how a nation sees itself and how it’s seen by others. The pictures and painters are discussed in the context of contemporary literature and the social and political circumstances of their period. Comparisons are made with the experience of other cultures, notably the United States and Ireland.

'Lewis Edwards' by Professor D. Densil Morgan is a biography of Lewis Edwards (1809-87), described as the foremost intellectual of his day; someone who influenced the views and outlook of many ministers who in turn spread the message concerning the importance of education and culture in chapels throughout the land.

Having first studied in his home county of Cardiganshire, Lewis Edwards later studied at the University of London and at the University of Edinburgh, the only universities open to Nonconformist Protestant dissenters who wouldn’t comply with the whims and teachings of the National Church – though he did later study and teach at Oxford University.

Throughout his life Lewis insisted that his teachings combined: religion, secularist culture, philosophy and literature. He may fairly be called one of the makers of modern Wales. Through his hands there passed generation after generation of preachers, who carried his influence to every corner of the principality. By fostering competitive meetings and by his writings, especially in Y Traethodydd, a quarterly magazine which he founded in 1845 and edited for ten years, he did much to inform and educate his countrymen on literary and theological subjects.

Helgard Krause, Head of the University of Wales Press commented:

“We are delighted that two of our publications have been acknowledged in this way. The Wales Book of the Year is a major event in the publishing calendar in Wales and we hope to see both authors reach the short list for this prestigious award.”

The Short List for the Wales Book of the Year 2010 will be announced on Sunday, June 6 at the Guardian Hay Festival, with the winner revealed on Wednesday, June 30, at an award ceremony in the St. David’s Hotel and Spa in Cardiff Bay.

/Ends

For more information about the University of Wales Press, please visit: www.uwp.co.uk

For more information about the Wales Book of the Year please visit: www.academi.org/book-of-the-year/

For press and media information, please contact Tom Barrett, Communications Officer, University of Wales: t.barrett@wales.ac.uk  02920 376991

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