Art in Cornwall

Cornwall is renowned for its artistic heritage and has been the inspiration for numerous artists for nearly 200 years. Locations such as St Ives and Newlyn attracted artists to Cornwall, not only for their magnificent land and seascapes but also for the amazing quality of the light.

As early as 1811 J.M.W. Turner visited the Newlyn/Penzance area.

By the mid 1880's, Newlyn had become the base for a colony of artists from whom emerged the painters of the now famous Newlyn School. At one point 27 artists were gaining their creative inspiration from this South Cornish coast fishing port.

Artists such as Walter Langley and Alexander Stanhope Forbes brought Newlyn to the attention of a national and international audience. Today, Newlyn is home to a number of fine galleries exhibiting a wide range of work.

St Ives is equally well known for its long contribution to Art. In the late 1920's, three artists, Ben Nicholson, Alfred Wallis and Christopher Wood formed the foundation of what was soon to become known as the St Ives School of Artists.

Later, Barbara Hepworth settled in St Ives and during the years of the 1940's and 50's, a new generation of artists emerged whose work focussed on the new concept of abstraction.

Names such as Terry Frost, Peter Lanyon, Patrick Heron and Wilhelmina Barnes-Graham are well associated with St Ives and ensured that it continued to play a strategic position in post-war artistic development.

In the late 1940's Barbara Hepworth's studio in St Ives formed the foundation point for the Penwith Society of Artists.

Famous craftspeople have also been drawn to St Ives. The toy and furniture maker Robin Nance came to the town as did the world renowned potters, Bernard and Janet Leach.

Today, St Ives celebrates its artistic heritage with numerous galleries, studios, craft workshops and exhibitions.of the work of its famous artists. Original pottery by Bernard and Janet Leach forms part of a living exhibition celebrating 20th century ceramics.

But Art in Cornwall is not just about world renowned artists whose names have become enshrined in art history, it is about a living, thriving creative force which continues to grow and inspire new artists across a wide range of media and styles.

Many new forms of Arts and Crafts are now present in Cornwall, making use of Cornwall's natural mineral wealth. Jewellery and other gift items fashioned from Cornish tin, pewter and semi precious stones are created in studios and galleries in which it is often possible to watch the pieces being crafted.

Since the 1850's, when an Art School was founded in Penzance - the first provincial school West of Bristol, there has been a tradition in Cornwall to make Art accessible to everyone, not only in terms of viewing exhibitions of work but in giving anyone who wishes to pursue it, the opportunity to explore their own creativity.

Art schools provide personal tuition and classes for those who wish to expand their knowledge of the creative arts. Visitors can book lessons by the hour or can spend their entire holiday attending a art course at one of the available schools.


On the top-right:
'The Sunny South' by Walter Langley is featured by kind permission of Penlee House Gallery and Museum.


Inspired Gifts from the Royal Academy of Arts


Art in Cornwall


Featured Art in Cornwall

Penn Carwardine
Rainyday Gallery
The Bank Square Gallery
Yew Tree Gallery



Click here for a list of Galleries in Cornwall, Artists and Art Studios

See our business directory and listings above for galleries, studios, craft workshops, etc. Forthcoming exhibitions are listed below, in our events diary and on our home page.


Available for everyone, funded by people who are Into Cornwall.

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Art events


Map of Art locations in Cornwall

Use the + scale on the left of the map to zoom in on an area. Click on a marker to see the name of the location and click the box to go to the information about that place. To zoom out click - on the scale.

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Art locations in Cornwall



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Visitor Attractions in Cornwall
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Things to do
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Maps of Cornwall :

The Ordnance Survey publishes the Explorer series of maps which are ideal for walkers.

Scale 1 : 25 000
2.5 inches to 1 mile /
4cm to 1km.

Available in local bookshops or click on the links below to order online.

Those covering Cornwall:

Map of Isles of Scilly:

101 Isles of Scilly


For more information:

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