National Library of Wales

Association of Artists and Designers in Wales Records

Reference code(s): GB 0210 AADW

Held at:

Title: Association of Artists and Designers in Wales Records

Short title: Association of Artists and Designers in Wales, records

Dates of creation: 1974-1998

Level of description: Fonds

Extent and medium: 7.11 cubic metres (79 boxes)

Name of creator(s): Association of Artists and Designers in Wales


Administrative and biographical history: The Association of Artists and Designers in Wales (AADW), was formed in Cardiff on 6 June 1974 by six artists from the urbanised south-east region of Wales, who sought to create a national organisation to represent artists of all disciplines. The organisation aimed to promote serious criticism and discussion, to protect and advance standards; to advise and assist members and public bodies and to co-operate with other organisations who were similarly involved; to create more and better opportunities for practise and study, and, more specifically, to establish active branches of the Association throughout Wales. By 1975, a year after AADW's formation six branches had been formed, and by 1981 there were eleven AADW branches throughout north, mid and south Wales, with the central office situated in Cardiff. Some branches had new gallery, studio and workshop buildings for the use of members, and several branches held regular series of talks, discussions and demonstrations throughout the year. The Association was mainly funded by the Welsh Arts Council, and obtained further revenue from members' subscriptions and rents from studio buildings. Additional income was derived from the magazine 'Link', published regularly by the Association, in order to provide news, information, criticism, reviews and comment on art and design matters. The decision-making role was taken by the National Executive Committee,which consisted of elected officers from each branch, and which, in effect, served as the voice of professional artists in Wales. Full membership was open to any professional artist in Wales, with other categories of membership for students and for those who were not professional artists, but who nevertheless worked to support the aims of the Association. By the mid-1980s there were several hundred members of the AADW, but by 1992, internal dissatisfaction with the way the affairs of the Association were being handled, together with under-funding and under-staffing at executive level, meant that the Association could not operate viably, and the decision was taken at the final AGM in March 1992 to wind down the AADW and form a new organisation for artists, named the Association of Visual Artists in Wales (AVAW). The AVAW, however, despite its many activities, was not as influential as the earlier organisation, and to all extents and purposes it ceased to operate fully after 1994. The Association was formally dissolved in 1998.


Scope and content:


Language/script: English unless otherwise specified.

System of arrangement: Arranged according to provenance at NLW in 6 sections: administrative records, 1974-1998, financial records, 1975-1998, internal policies and activities, 1975-1994, branches, 1975-1995, external organisations, 1975-1994, and external policies and activities, 1978-1992.

Conditions governing access: See relevant series descriptions. Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to sign the 'Modern papers - data protection' form.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright laws apply.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: The fonds has been appraised: details are given at the appropriate levels of description.

Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Immediate source of acquisition: Donated in Nov.1998 by Mr Martin Williams, Swansea, National Chairman of the AADW/AVAW, 1991-1993.


Related units of description: All the photographs and slides are in the Department of Pictures and Maps, ( 0200108926).


Rules or conventions: This description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) Second Edition; AACR2; and LCSH.

Date(s) of description: Prior to 23-0-2006



Artists | Wales

Arts | Wales | Societies, etc.

Association of Artists and Designers in Wales | Archives

Designers | Wales

Personal names

Corporate names

Association of Artists and Designers in Wales