Eleanor HUGHES

Mrs Eleanor Mary W HUGHES RI

Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, the child of West Country parents, Eleanor Waymouth visited Britain initially at the turn of the Nineteenth Century. She studied art with C N Worsley (c1901-3) and attended the FORBES School of Painting for a short time.

In 1907 she came again to London from New Zealand, accompanied by her sister, to study at Frank SPENLOVE's 'Yellow Door Studio'. Prior to 1908, she drew and painted in Hampshire, Gloucestershire and Warwickshire, with a special interest in country trees. Wallace comments in the Exhibition catalogue for Women Artists in Cornwall (1996) that Hughes 'had a particularly delicate style which has been compared to that of Rennie Mackintosh'.  From 1902 she exhibited as Miss E W Waymouth (until 1912 when she exhibited as Mrs Hughes).  She was also an accomplished pianist.

From 1908 similar drawings appear in her sketchbook of Cornwall, probably signaling a recent return to the West Country. In Newlyn in 1907 she began to study under Stanhope FORBES and Elizabeth FORBES for the second time. There she met and married Robert Morson HUGHES in 1910, and together they designed and built their own home, Chyangweal, near St Buryan. Living and working in London in 1914, they returned home to St Buryan in 1915.

She and her husband were part of the inner circle of friends surrounding S J Lamorna BIRCH; this included the Harveys, the Napers, the Knights, and the Simpsons. She took up etching in late 1930s, a natural extension of her talent for drawing, but examples have been scarce until recently, when her niece has made the personal collection available. She sold up her studio in 1940 in aid of financing evacuee children. She died at her home in Lamorna in 1959.


Painter of landscapes in watercolour; etcher

works and access

Works include: The Quarry Pool (c1920); White Cottage and The Stream (1921); Summer, Lamorna Valley; Sycamores, Lamorna Valley; Porch at Gullistre; A Western Shore, On the CliffView of Mount's Bay from Sancreed; 'Chateau de Mays and Fortified Bridge, French Pyrenees'; Farm Building (Lamorna); Frosty Morning (Lamorna); Apple Tree (1937); Street, Boscastle (1937); St Buryan (1937); Cornish Farm


RA (37) until 1939

NEAC (7)

RI (34) 1933; 

Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts (9)

SWA (3)

London (6)

Fisher & Son of Christchurch, New Zealand 1935

NAG September 1920 Revival Exhibition, Summer 1921, December 1924, Spring 1925, Spring 1926, March 1927, Summer 1929 (Etching and watercolour); 

Oldham Municipal Gallery Spring Exhibition 1924

Abbey (3)


I (5)

Falmouth Art Gallery Women Artists in Cornwall (Group) 1996

Penlee House, Penzance Women Painters (Group) 2002


STISA 1933-49

NSA 1931 (Trustee from 1934, Chair 1935)

RI 1933


Branfield Ella and Charles Naper: Art and Life at Lamorna

Buckman (2006) Dictionary of Artists in  Britain since 1945

Fox (1985) Painting in Newlyn

Green (2002) Posing the Model;

Hardie (1995) 100 Years in Newlyn: Diary of a Gallery

Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall;

Platt Nineteenth Century New Zealand Artists (catalogue)

Tovey (2000) GF Bradshaw & STISA (Appendix 3: Principal Members of STISA 1927-1960)

Tovey (2003) Creating a Splash

Tovey (2009) St Ives: Social History (group photo, p160)

Tovey (2022) Lamorna - An Artistic, Social and Literary History - Volumes I & II, Wilson Books

Wallace et al (1996) Women Artists in Cornwall 1880-1940 (Exhibition catalogue); 

Wallace (2002) Under the Open Sky

Wormleighton (1995) A Painter Laureate