"Salem" painting by Vosper

This is for the art- and museum-orientated people on the Forum.
Not exactly concerned with learning Welsh, but…
As part of a course that I’m doing to become an Israeli overseas tour guide, I am working on a project that includes, as an exercise, compiling a week-long guided tour of Wales. I have to include a discussion on an art work and I have chosen “Salem” by the painter Sydney Vosper, which seems to be a Welsh icon.
My question is: Does anyone know at which museums is it possible to view copies of this work? I understand that the original has been bought by the National Library in Aberystwyth, which I would not include in such an itinerary.
Alternatively, suggestions for any other famous art works in Wales on the tourist paths would be welcomed.
I will be most grateful for any help…

Vosper painted two versions of Salem - one, as you say, is in the National Library. The other is in the Lady Lever Gallery in Port Sunlight, Liverpool. The print was so popular though, many places had a copy - pubs and homes more so than museums. I can’t think of anywhere in particular I’ve seen a print, but I’m almost certain there are postcard versions.

There are lots of smaller art galleries all over Wales, but I think the major works all tend to be either in the National Library in Aberystwyth or the National Museum in Cardiff, although Oriel Môn in Llangefni does have a large collection of Kyffin William’s work.

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@ceri-francis Would be a good person to talk to about this painting as she is related to a lady who modelled for it :slight_smile: She spoke about it on Radio Cymru some time ago :slight_smile:


Well remembered @Cetra. You are right, my great grandmother is the lady at the back half hidden by the main figure. Next to her is my cousin’s grandfather or great father (can’t quite recall) sitting under the clock. The painting was used to promote sunlight soap so it became popular. There were a few prints in my family but I don’t have one myself.


I love this painting - https://museum.wales/art/online/?action=show_item&item=1671
It’s full of action and mystery and it’s really evocative of a certain part of Valleys life.
Unfortunately it’s not always on show, so you’d have to check that.

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One you can see anytime is the Ed Povey mural on Bangor Street in Caernarfon :slight_smile:
Edited to say -
It’s quite faded and partially obscured by the library that was built later, but there are images of it in it’s full glory on the web, and there were plans to restore it a couple of years ago, but they’re on hold now I would imagine.

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