Mining Josef Herman

The internationally renowned émigré artist Josef Herman travelled to Britain from Poland in 1940 and settled in Ystradgynlais between 1944 and 1955. The extraordinary paintings, drawings and prints Josef Herman made during this time captured the life of the community, most notably in his images of miners.

In 2002 the Josef Herman Art Foundation Cymru was established in Ystradgynlais to honour Josef Herman and his legacy and to encourage the public appreciation of the visual arts by people of all ages. From 2013-15 the Josef Herman Art Foundation Cymru is working with Tate on a two-year partnership project called Mining Josef Herman, as part of a larger project called Transforming Tate Britain: Archives and Access.

Mining Josef Herman will enable new audiences to engage with digitised local and national archives, and create opportunities for members of the public to work with artists in making their own creative responses for publication online. As part of the project the Foundation’s archives in Ystradgynlais will be organised and digitised and will be accessible through local and national archives.

Get Involved

To find out more or get involved, please join us on a Friday coffee morning at the Welfare from 10am – 12pm or contact us via the contact page.

We would love to hear your stories, ideas, and memories of Josef Herman’s work; the life and times in which he lived; what his legacy means to Ystradgynlais or how it can benefit the town and the surrounding area. This information may be included in our new digital community archive, uploaded to Tate’s website or used to inform future project activities.


Transforming Tate Britain: Archives and Access

Archives and Access is an ambitious five-year programme of digital access, learning and participation. It will make 52,000 items from Tate’s archives fully accessible online, including a significant number relating to Josef Herman, and invite participation and shared learning through a new interactive learning hub on the Tate website that will be accessible to national and international online audiences from Autumn 2014. This will allow people to group, tag, annotate and share their own collections of artworks and archive items online and access a suite of new resources. These archive materials and digital tools will be used as the basis for partnership learning projects in five different areas of the UK between 2013 – 2017. The first project is in Ystradgynlais, South Wales. The programme will also involve Tate Britain in London; Tate Liverpool; Tyne and Wear Archives & Museums and Turner Contemporary, Margate.

Transforming Tate Britain: Archives and Access is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Josef Herman Art Foundation Cymru has also received support from the Arts Council of Wales.

Photographing the Archives at the Tate

Photographing the Archives

© Tate Photography, Lucy Dawkins and Joanna Fernandes