1873 – 1936
Hugh Blaker is best remembered for his role as art advisor to Gwendoline and Margaret Davies, only one of many roles he took on throughout his life; he was at times painter, writer, critic, philosopher, actor, museum curator, art dealer and collector. He received a privileged art education in Paris, Antwerp and England.
On Blaker's death his paintings and drawings passed to his sister Jane at Gregynog Hall where they remained in storage until they were transferred to Aberystwyth in June 1990 as part of the Gregynog Loan. The collection of 127 works on paper includes academic life drawings of the 1890s, 12 original pen and ink illustrations, and his later experiments with Modernism in the 1910s.
Blaker's desire to experiment and to be 'modern' led him in many unexpected directions. These works especially provide a fascinating insight into the creative output of a truly 'modern' individual who, through his role in the formation of the Davies Collection of Impressionist paintings, played a significant part in the development of the history of art in Wales.