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Exhibition:Jean-Siméon Chardin’s ‘The House of Cards’ at Oriel Davies Gallery

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Jean-Siméon Chardin’s ‘The House of Cards’

Jean-Siméon Chardin’s ‘The House of Cards’

© The National Gallery
Jean-Siméon Chardin’s ‘The House of Cards’


The Park,
SY16 2NZ



A three-year partnership will see one different masterpiece a year from the National Gallery’s Collection displayed at Newtown’s Oriel Davies Gallery.

The first of these masterpieces is Jean-Siméon Chardin’s ‘The House of Cards’ (about 1740–1) which will be on show at the gallery from July 10 to September 25 as part of the National Gallery Masterpiece Tour 2021-’23.

The picture has been chosen for the first year of the partnership with Oriel Davies Gallery in Newtown and two other venues, Carmarthenshire Museum in Abergwili, Carmarthen and Beacon Museum in Whitehaven.

The National Gallery Masterpiece Tour 2021-‘23 offers three non-London museums, galleries or art centres the opportunity to partner with the National Gallery for three years and to display one different major work from our collection each year.

For the first time in the tour’s history, the partner venues have been selected for a three-year period. The paintings for 2022 and ‘23 will be chosen jointly by the partners and the National Gallery.

Oriel Davies Gallery will display Chardin’s ‘The House of Cards’ alongside two new
commissions - a kinetic work by the artist Charlie Cook, which will examine the concept of the ‘fragility of human endeavour’ and the idea of playful persistence as shown in the loaned painting.

A recent Glasgow School of Art graduate, Cook uses cabinet making skills to create kinetic works that playfully explore balance. This will be shown alongside ‘Building a Future’, a collaboration between Oriel Davies, local communities and illustrator Alyn Smith.

A Cardiff‐based artist, Smith has been commissioned to create a set of 15,000 cards which will be completed by contributions from local communities and built in the gallery exploring the relationship between dreaming and reality through play.

Steffan Jones‐Hughes, Oriel Davies’ director, said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with the National Gallery and show historical work from the collection as a starting point for a contemporary dialogue with artists and our audiences, making connections between the work and Newtown’s people and places.”

National Gallery director Dr Gabriele Finaldi said: “Caught somewhere between curiosity, determination and fragility, the boy in Chardin’s painting is engrossed in his house-of-cards construction.

“The host museums have conceived some highly original and intensely participatory approaches to how this picture will be displayed in the context of their spaces and collections and I much look forward to working closely with them to reach new audiences outside London.”

Ian Jones, Head of Leisure for Carmarthenshire County Council, said: “We are excited to be a National Gallery Masterpiece Tour partner and want to involve our communities in developing the exhibition as much as possible. The Creative Curators – open to anyone interested in taking part – will have the amazing opportunity to get up close to museum collections and curate the exhibition around the centrepiece from the National Gallery.

“The partnership with the National Gallery is enabling this opportunity to try out a new way of creating exhibitions, as part of their commitment to promoting understanding, knowledge and appreciation of Old Master paintings.”

Picture caption:

Jean-Siméon Chardin’s ‘The House of Cards’.
© The National Gallery

Baby changing facilitiesCoach parties acceptedCredit cards accepted (no fee)Disabled toiletsEducation/study areaFacilities for groupsFacilities for educational visitsGift shopOn-site cateringOn-site light refreshmentsPicnic sitePublic toiletsRegional Tourist Board MemberAccepts groupsFacilities for conferencingFacilities for corporate hospitality

Events at this Venue

date event
Fri 19 Nov - Fri 24 Dec Steve Attwood Wright + BLANKET COVERAGE


The Park,
SY16 2NZ


Plan route to Oriel Davies Gallery using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: SO 106914  Lat: 52.51388 Long: -3.31735

On foot
From Newtown train station which is about a 7 minute walk, take the footpath opposite the station exit and alongside the supermarket down to the main road (New Road). Cross straight over at the lights and continue up New Church Street. Cross at the pedestrian crossing into the park. The Gallery is beside the park, on the right hand side. From the town centre, walk to the end of High Street or through the Bear Lanes shopping centre towards the Bus Station. Oriel Davies Gallery is located between the Bus and Coach Station and the park.

By car
Keep on the A483 (New Road) into Newtown, and turn into New Church Street, besides a large Church building. After 600m, turn left into Newtown’s Back Lane car park which is pay-and-display. Oriel Davies Gallery is located just 50 metres from the car park on the edge of the town park. There are two blue badge holder spaces at the side of the gallery. It is advisable to phone in advance if you wish to reserve these spaces.

By train
The nearest train station is Newtown (Powys) operated by Arriva Trains Wales and is a 7 minute walk to Oriel Davies Gallery. Direct train services run from: Birmingham (1hr 40mins), Shrewsbury, (40mins), Telford (1hr), Wolverhampton (1hr 20mins), Aberystwyth (1hr 20mins) and Machynlleth (1hr 40mins). To plan your journey to Newtown, please visit National Rail Enquiries.

By bus and coach
Oriel Davies Gallery is located immediately adjacent to the Newtown bus and coach station and is well served by local and national bus routes to many towns including Shrewsbury, Wrexham, Llandrindod Wells, Kington, Montgomery and Llandovery, as well as National Express coach services to further destinations such as London, Birmingham and Aberystwyth.

Coach parking
Coaches can be parked immediately adjacent to Oriel Davies Gallery in Newtown’s main car park at Back Lane in designated coach spaces. There is a daily charge.

Public Transport Information

Parking: with charge

Accessible by Public Transport: 0.5 miles from Newtown Station station


  • Baby changing facilitiesBaby changing facilities
  • Coach parties acceptedCoach parties accepted
  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)Credit cards accepted (no fee)
  • Disabled toiletsDisabled toilets
  • Education/study areaEducation/study area
  • Facilities for groupsFacilities for groups
  • Facilities for educational visitsFacilities for educational visits
  • Gift shopGift shop
  • On-site cateringOn-site catering
  • On-site light refreshmentsOn-site light refreshments
  • Picnic sitePicnic site
  • Public toiletsPublic toilets
  • Regional Tourist Board MemberRegional Tourist Board Member
  • Accepts groupsAccepts groups
  • Facilities for conferencingFacilities for conferencing
  • Facilities for corporate hospitalityFacilities for corporate hospitality

Self-Assessed Accessibility Details


  • YesDesignated parking provided for guests with disabilities
    • YesWithin 50 metres approx. of entrance
  • Surface of the car park and pathway leading to entrance is:
    • YesSolid ie tarmac / concrete etc
  • YesDrop-off point for guests outside entrance
  • Route from the parking area to the entrance:
    • YesFlat (ie without steps)


  • YesLevel access (no steps/thresholds) or access by ramp or lift to restaurant / cafe
  • YesLevel access (ie no steps or thresholds), or access by ramp or lift to the toilets
  • YesLevel access (ie no steps or thresholds) or access by ramp to a specially adapted toilet for wheelchair users
  • YesContrast markings on clear surfaces such as glass doors
  • Restaurant / cafe provide meals for visitors with special dietary requirements:
    • YesSugar free (diabetic)
    • YesGluten free (coeliacs)
    • YesLactose free (dairy free)
    • YesLow potassium
    • YesLow sodium
    • YesNut free
    • YesAdditive free
    • YesOrganic
    • YesVegetarian
    • YesVegan
  • YesBaby changing facilities
  • YesHigh chairs for children
  • YesAudible alarm system


  • YesEntrance is well lit
  • YesAutomatic door at the main entrance