exh 1924-1937 as E W Oldham

At the NAG Exhibition of 1937, Ernest Oldham exhibited Ghosting Home and Departing Shower, Manaccan Cross, two paintings in addition to displays within the Craft section (probably bookplates: not specified). Their bookplates are numerous and designed for many of their fellow artists.

He was married to the painter and bookplate designer Mary OLDHAM, and from family correspondence it seems that the Oldhams lived at the Helford, Helston, Cornwall. A recent image has been shared by Ernest's descendants of a watercolour of Wheal Trewavas and The Lizard (nd). The couple began to exhibit at Newlyn in the 1920s, and remained active until the mid-1950s, when Mrs Oldham was chosen by the Committee to serve the teas at Newlyn Opening Show Days.  They are not listed in standard artist indices.

A recent correspondent (2013) has sent this communication:

'I can confirm that Ernest & Mary Oldham lived in Helford Village as I visited 
their studio several times, in the 1950s and 1960s which was right by the 
footbridge. My mother's family (De Vere Hunt), who were keen sailors with a 
cottage in Helford, bought several of Mary's water colours, one of which 
hangs in my kitchen, and several prints by Ernest, who also painted water 
colours of the Helford Estuary and the Scottish Highlands. Mary also 
published prints and a booklet for Helford's War Relief  with prints of the 
houses of the 5 men from the village who died in the Second World War, 
including my uncle, Bunch Hunt.'   

An even more recent correspondent (2014) has shared further information:

'My wife Valerie and I were on holiday in 1952 at Gillan. We spent much time walking the footpaths to S.Anthony, Manaccan and Helford. At Helford we came across the little studio beside the stream near the ford and met the Oldhams. We purchased some prints including: Path to Manaccan, The Fig Ttree  Manaccan, St Anthony from Gillan. There are some others one of which is a bookmark illustrating the course of the Helford from Gweek to the sea.'  


Painter and designer

works and access

Works include: Ghosting Home and Departing Shower, Manaccan Cross (both 1937); Wheal Trewavas and the Lizard (nd)


NAG December 1924 (bookplates), July 1926, December 1926 (Craft section), July-September 1928 (bookplates and woodcuts)


NAG 1927-1952 (Active member)

misc further info

 Correspondence (July 2011) (May 2013) Further information wanted.


The Cornishman 7 Jul 1926, 8 Dec 1926

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

Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn & West Cornwall;

WCAA Collection