The King presents the Royal Charter to Frank Gilbertson, first President of the University College of Swansea on 19th July, 1920

Item

Title

The King presents the Royal Charter to Frank Gilbertson, first President of the University College of Swansea on 19th July, 1920

Creator

Percy Gleaves (large painting photographed by Swansea University Library, detail photographed by Dr. David Hugh Jones) and stone photographed by Dr. David Hugh Jones.

Date

1920

Description

This enormous canvas (top) by Percy Gleaves (1882-1944) hangs on the landing of Singleton Abbey, having recently been restored.

Before laying the foundation stone (bottom left), King George V presents the Royal Charter to Frank Gilbertson, first President of the University College of Swansea. The foundation stone was subsequently “lost” in the Swansea Corporation yard for 17 years [15, p. 89] until it was re-laid in the wall of the 1937 Library (bottom right), the first purpose-built permanent building to be constructed on the campus.

The hefty chains holding the stone suggest industrial heavy engineering – not inappropriate to the founders of the institution. The sunny parkland setting and rather naive style of the painting add to the air of symbolism.

Rights Holder

Swansea University