56 Group Wales:The Founders

Will Roberts (1907 - 2000)


Trevor Bates

Will Roberts was born on 21 December 1907 in Ruabon, near Wrexham, North Wales. In 1918 the family moved south to Neath, where he was to settle for the rest of his life. His interest in drawing began as a small child. He was encouraged by his mother and in 1928 won a scholarship to the Swansea School of Art. Later in life, he became an RCA, a member of the Royal Cambrian Academy based at Conwy.

He exhibited with the London Group for several years and in 1956 became a founder member of the 56 Group.

This sensitive and deeply religious man, recorded for posterity a largely disappearing landscape and way of life.

As a painter Will Roberts never retired. He continued to draw and paint continuously until a few weeks before his death. He died in Neath on 11 March 2000.

The works of Will Roberts RCA can be found in the following collections:-

Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales, Cardiff; Brecknock Museum and Art Gallery, Brecon; Brno, Czechoslovakia; Contemporary Art Society for Wales; Cardiff University; City of Coventry Art Gallery; City of Hereford Art Gallery; National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth; Neath Museum and Art Gallery; Swansea University; Bangor University, North Wales; other public and private collections.