Highgate School

Kyffin Blog - Posted 30-11-2010

Following his training at the Slade in 1944, Kyffin secured a post as art master at Highgate School in London. His description of this opportunity as ‘one of the luckiest moments of his life’, in his autobiography ‘Across the Straits’, betrays the satisfaction he gleaned from this work, until his retirement from teaching in 1973.

Kyffin’s Bequest to the National Library includes not only his own work, but also the work of other artists and friends. Amongst these are an interesting group of art works by the pupils of Highgate: over 250 drawings / paintings on paper, and 25 linocuts. A former pupil tells me that Kyffin on occasion would ask if he could keep an artwork. The collection provides interesting evidence of Kyffin as a teacher: in its variety, and in his adding example drawings of his own on the reverse side of some items for the students’ benefit.

Many of his former pupils became successful and productive artists in their own right. Notably Anthony Green and Patrick Procktor joined him later as fellow members of the Royal Academy, and an early drawing by Anthony Green is in the collection.

Iwan Dafis

2 responses

I enjoyed the blog.

I had found this watercolour which I purchased on line. I had thought it possibly to be a very early Kyffin Wiliams from when he was at Slade which was at Oxford at the time (near the Cotswolds)

I did receive a very nice reply from the NLW. Would you know how Kyffin signed his work back when he was at Slade or first at Highgate? Or who else could this Williams be? The R.C.A. (Royal Cambrian Academy) did have have a show in May of 1945.


Commented July 21, 2011 / 19:57:12

Thank you very much for your comment. The National Library of Wales offers an enquiries service, and you're very welcome to send an enquiry to them. Here's a link to the enquiries page on our website:

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru/National Library of Wales

Commented July 28, 2011 / 16:52:25




About this blog

A blog about the work and collections of the National Library of Wales.

Due to the more personal nature of blogs it is the Library's policy to publish postings in the original language only. An equal number of blog posts are published in both Welsh and English, but they are not the same postings. For a translation of the blog readers may wish to try facilities such as Google Translate.

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