The story of art in Cornwall
The purpose of the Cornwall Artists Index is to preserve and make accessible the invaluable history of the art and artists of Cornwall. The early days of rail travel not only opened up Cornwall as a holiday destination, but also brought to the county a stream of artist visitors, attracted by its gentle climate, picturesque fishing villages and spectacular coastline. Thus a strong artistic tradition was born, and continues to flourish today. The Cornwall Artists Index seeks to celebrate and promote this rich artistic heritage.
Continuing the story ...
We welcome information about artists currently living and exhibiting in the county who may not yet be listed. You can help us by expanding our information base about those artists you admire and know best. A structured questionnaire has been designed for this purpose. Please go to the contact page and send us your information, which may be in the form of corrections if the artist is already listed. A verification process will be undertaken, and your information added.
The Cornwall Artists Index is a work in progress, and you may find new information added and corrections made on a daily basis. If an entry has faults, please be tolerant and help us improve it: information is taken from published material and family information.
The creation of the Cornwall Artists Index
The Cornwall Artists Index (CAI) evolved from Dr Melissa Hardie's 2009 publication, ARTISTS IN NEWLYN AND WEST CORNWALL 1880-1940. This dictionary and source-book was based on material from the West Cornwall Arts Archive, a collection which documented the development of west Cornwall as a focus for artistic endeavour from the nineteenth century onwards. In addition to A-Z entries for Cornwall's artists, the book also contains source material not available elsewhere, such as essays, exhibition catalogues, and historical sketches based on original research. Such was the success of this publication that it was decided to create from it an online database of artists, to be known as the Cornwall Artists Index.
The material which formed the basis of the West Cornwall Arts Archive and Melissa Hardie's publication 'Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall 1880-1940' has now been incorporated into the Newlyn Archive. This valuable resource, located at Admiralty Boathouse, 23 The Strand, Newlyn, can be accessed at: www.newlynarchive.org.uk or visited in person from Tuesdays to Fridays between 9.30 and 12.00.
Please note: We do not make valuations. We are a team of historical and biographical researchers. We suggest that you consult your local Fine Art auctioneer or approach a Fine Art gallery with any questions concerning the valuation or identification of artworks.
Linkage & contact with artists
Please do not send messages to individual artists listed on this site, because we do not keep a contact directory and do not know where an individual can be located. Please search the internet for galleries that have handled the individual artist's work, as they may have contact details.
Useful organisations for information/research purposes
Cornwall Records Office, Hypatia Trust, Newlyn Art Gallery, Newlyn Archive, Penlee House Gallery & Museum, Falmouth University, Royal Cornwall Museum and the Tate St Ives: each of these organisations has contributed to the collection of material forming the basis of the CAI.
In 2022, a new website was created, under the auspices of the Hypatia Trust. The BCF 'Bibliotheca Cornubiensis Femina' (the Library of Cornish Women) is an index of notable women in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, past and present.
Editorial and consultative team
A team of knowledgeable volunteers contributes to the maintenance and expansion of the CAI under the editorship of Helen Hoyle.
Thanks for their support and interest are extended to George Bednar, the Hypatia Trust (support organisation), the Tanner Trust, and to website developer, Nick Harpley.
The Hypatia Trust is a registered charity (England & Wales, 1060663) whose work can be viewed at www.hypatia-trust.org.uk