Painting a Working Cornwall: Newlyn and St Ives 1880-1930


Friday, 1 March
18.00, Research Forum South Room, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN

Walter LangleyWalter Langley, The Sunny South, 1885, oil on canvas, 122 x 61 cm. © Penlee House Gallery & Museum, PenzanceSpeaker(s): Alison Bevan (Penlee House Gallery and Museum); David Tovey (author, lecturer, and curator)
Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission. There will be no advance booking for this event and places will be available on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis
Organised by: Martin Caiger-Smith and Roo Gunzi (The Courtauld Institute of Art) in conjunction with Two Temple Place, supported by The Bulldog Trust

Towards the end of the nineteenth-century, growing numbers of artists settled in West Cornwall, at the harbour towns of Newlyn and St Ives. Influenced by both Naturalism and Impressionism, and with a commitment to painting en plein air, artists such as Stanhope Forbes, Henry Scott Tuke, Adrian Stokes, and Anders Zorn sought to apply French techniques learned on the coasts of Brittany to British rural subjects. Over the course of several decades from the 1880s, Newlyn and St Ives gained recognition as established centres for Cornish art, which encouraged the continual arrival of visiting painters into the twentieth century. From 1900, second generation artists such as Sir Alfred Munnings and Dame Laura Knight were also based at Lamorna.

Specialists in Cornish art, Alison Bevan BEM, Director of Penlee House Gallery & Museum in Penzance, and leading author and historian of St Ives art, David Tovey, will explore the work of key artists who formed what are now generally understood as the Newlyn and St Ives ‘schools’ of painting, and examine their artistic interest in the local working landscape of West Cornwall.

This event accompanies the current exhibition Amongst Heroes: The Artist in Working Cornwall, which is open until 14 April 2013 at Two Temple Place, and is being run by The Bulldog Trust in conjunction with the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro. The exhibition brings together art and objects from a large number of public and private collections across Cornwall, and other institutions nationwide. Organised in collaboration with The Courtauld Institute of Art, this exhibition is the second in an annual series of exhibitions by The Bulldog Trust, which intend to increase the visibility of regional collections, and provide opportunities for first-time curators.


Alison Bevan
has been Director of the Penlee House Gallery and Museum in Penzance since 1999, where she has established an ambitious and highly regarded programme of exhibitions on Cornish art and heritage. Penlee highlights of 2012 included exhibitions on Joan Manning Saunders, Dame Laura Knight, and Sven Berlin, and the gallery is currently showing an exhibition of 1960s Troika pottery. Alison is a published writer and lecturer on Cornish art, and has this year been awarded a British Empire Medal for her services to cultural heritage in Cornwall.

David Tovey
is a long established author, lecturer, and curator of early St Ives art. He has published numerous books on St Ives painting, including
Creating a Splash: The St Ives Society of Artists (2004), Pioneers of St Ives Art at Home and Abroad 1890-1914 (2008), and Sea Change (2010). He has curated several exhibitions in partnership with Tate St Ives and Penlee House Gallery & Museum, and is currently curating an exhibition at the Royal Cornwall Museum, entitled ‘A Century of Cornish Art 1840-1940’, which features work by Adrian Stokes, Julius Olsson, and Charles Walter Simpson.

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