South West Wales

Last-known sketch of Dylan Thomas gifted to Swansea collection

The last known sketch of Dylan Thomas Image copyright Swansea Council

One of the last-known sketches of Dylan Thomas drawn during his lifetime has been gifted to a collection in Swansea.

It was drawn by Welsh-Canadian artist Gordon Stuart, shortly before Thomas left for New York where he died in 1953.

Stuart gave the sketch to his close friend Dr Wyn Gittins, who was born in Cross Hands and now lives in Canada.

Dr Gittins has now given the piece to Swansea council's Dylan Thomas Collection.

He flew in to present it to the city.

"As Dylan's home city, it's important we do all we can to promote his creative genius and maintain his legacy for the benefit of local residents and visitors to Swansea," said Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea council's cabinet member for enterprise, development and regeneration.

"It was very kind of Dr Gittins to donate this drawing to our Dylan Thomas Collection.

"The drawing will feature at our cultural venues in future as we continue to celebrate Dylan's life and achievements."

Image copyright Swansea council
Image caption Dr Wyn Gittins handing the Dylan Thomas drawing over to councillor Robert Francis-Davies

The artist Stuart had a chance meeting with Thomas in Laugharne, where the poet agreed to pose in the Boathouse and writing shed.

Stuart died aged 91 in 2015 and shortly before his death he told Wales Online how, after sitting for the portraits, Thomas would head straight for his favourite drinking haunt at Brown's Hotel.

"He always invited me to have a drink with him but I never accepted - I preferred a stroll," said Stuart.

The sketch is part of a set which also includes three oil paintings.

Other well-known portraits by Stuart - such as those of former US President Jimmy Carter, fellow Welsh artist Sir Kyffin Williams, former rugby international Cliff Morgan and The Beatles producer Sir George Martin - are held in various collections around the world.

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