National Library of Wales

Ray Howard-Jones Papers

Reference code(s): GB 0210 RAYHOJ

Held at:

Title: Ray Howard-Jones Papers

Short title: Howard-Jones, Ray, papers

Dates of creation: 1883-1996

Level of description: Fonds

Extent and medium: 0.279 cubic metres (31 boxes)

Name of creator(s): Ray Howard-Jones


Administrative and biographical history: Ray Howard-Jones was an acclaimed poet-painter. She was born in England in 1903 of Welsh parents, but was brought up in Wales and lived and worked there for most of her life. She had numerous solo and group exhibitions in Wales, England, Scotland and Paris. She has works in collections in several institutions in Britain and abroad.
Ray Howard-Jones had a varied and colourful life. She trained at the Slade School of Fine Art, London, where she became a Senior Slade scholar and winner of many prizes as well as the Fine Arts Diploma. She was an Accredited War Artist, working, as the only woman, with the Royal Navy to record the D-Day shipping and the Army and RAF on Coastal Defence. The first year of the war found her organising classical concerts in the Cardiff parks. During this period she and Gomer Llywelyn Jones, the Welsh composer, ran the East Moors theatre in Cardiff. In 1946 she won first place, for that season, at the postgraduate Art College at Hospitalfield House, Arbroath, where she worked under James Cowie. In 1949 she embarked on nine years of living and working on the uninhabited island of Skomer, where she produced distinguished botanical and ornithological illustrations. In 1958 she designed and executed a mosaic at Thompson House in Cardiff, and in 1963, one of the few true mosaics executed in this country, in Grange Church, Edinburgh. After this came several years of work in the National Museum of Wales dealing with archaeological reconstruction, for the published works of Sir Cyril Fox and Dr Nash-Williams. She wrote highly-regarded poetry, and was a pioneer of community arts.
Ray Howard-Jones died in 1996.


Scope and content: Papers, 1883-1996, of, or acquired by, the artist Ray Howard-Jones (1903-1996), including correspondence, diaries, notes and draft poems, and papers relating to exhibitions, together with photographs and slides, and printed material.


Language/script: English

System of arrangement: Arranged at NLW in two groups: personal papers, 1883-1996, and professional papers, 1927-1995.

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

Conditions governing reproduction: Copyright on material in the hand of Ray Howard-Jones was transferred (with the approval of her executors) from the National Museum & Gallery to NLW; usual copyright laws apply to letters written to Ray Howard-Jones.

Finding aids: A hard copy of this list is available at NLW.

Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All papers donated to NLW have been retained.

Accruals: No further papers expected.

Archival history: In accordance with Ray Howard-Jones's will, her papers were transferred to the National Museum and Gallery, Cardiff, following her death in 1996.

Immediate source of acquisition: Donated by the National Museum & Gallery, Cardiff per Mr Oliver Fairclough, Keeper of Art (with the approval of Nicola Purnell, formerly Pemberton, and Nigel Howard-Jones, the executors of Ray Howard-Jones's will), in November 1998.


Related units of description: Works of art bequeathed to National Museum & Gallery, Cardiff. Slides, photographs, negatives and some printed works are in NLW, Special Collections.


Archivist's note: Compiled by Rhiannon Michaelson-Yeates.
The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: E. R. Blunson, 'Notes for an unknown biographer of Ray Howard-Jones', Anglo-Welsh Review, Summer 1968, pp. 54-60; Merlin James & David Stephenson, Ray Howard-Jones: the elements of an art (The Rocket Press, 1996).

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

Date(s) of description: December 2002



Art | Wales

Artists | Wales

Howard-Jones, Ray | Archives

War artists | Wales

Women poets | 20th century

Personal names

Howard-Jones, Ray

Corporate names