Hilda Quick was born in Penzance, the only child of Richard Hichens Quick and Gertrude Webb Ball.  She then trained in art at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London. Her great interest was in woodcuttings and she specialised in wood engraving becoming a pupil of Noel Rooke and then pursuing this study also in Paris. From this period in her student life come illustrations of Normandy and Brittany which she exhibited both in London and in Newlyn at NAG. At home in Penzance, she lived with her parents, from childhood at 10 Penrose Terrace, and latterly at Clarence Cottage at the top of Clarence Street.

The Minutes of the Newlyn Art Gallery in September 1925 record that Miss Quick's 'tint' was to be used as the wall colouring in the Exhibition rooms. In 1936 she was co-opted to the Arranging Committee for the Cornish Loan Exhibition of that year.Her exhibition piece at NAG for 1937 was Amalveor Downs.

Locally she is known to have created designs and wood engravings for the Minack Theatre programmes, and worked directly with Rowena CADE, who created the Minack Theatre at Porthcurno. They also worked together on the Arranging Committee for the Loan Exhibition mentioned above. A story panel at the Theatre museum gives an account of illustrations that she created for the posters and programmes, and full size replicas of some.

In 1948, her book Marsh and Shore, which she both wrote and illustrated with wood engravings, became a bestseller. She also produced studies of workers at the Newlyn Fish Market and other local community activities.

In 1951, following the deaths of both her father (1947) and her mother (1951), she moved to the Scillies and lived at Priglis Cottage, St Agnes, where she was to remain for the rest of her life.  She continued to produce wood engravings, illustrations of bird life and annual Christmas cards. In 1964 her book, Birds of the Scilly Isles was published. Her sending-in address for exhibitions in London and elsewhere was St George's Galleries, London. She continued to produce work until her death at the age of 83 (1978).

In 1980, John HALKES and some of her faithful friends put together a small touring exhibition, which was made available upon request around Cornwall in aid of the projected Gallery extension project of the day (NAG). This must have been a rather ad hoc arrangement because her exhibition is not listed in the Gallery programme for that year, though there is correspondence on file proving that it occurred as a show at NAG.  It was transported and shown on the island of St Agnes, supervised by her friend Daphne Gould from Hampshire (deceased 2003), who had a summer home there.  This was picked up by the Area Museum Council for the South West and made part of their touring exhibitions for loan in 1982-83. It comprised a series of original prints mounted on panels for wall hanging and required about 50 linear feet.


Painter and wood engraver, designer

works and access

Works include: Amalveor Downs (1937 ); Seaside Fair

Access to works:

Illustrations for The London Mercury (1929-1931)

Illustrations for the Complete Works of Edmund Spencer, Shakespeare Head Press (1930); 

Illustrations for My Birds, and for My Garden by W H Davies (1933, 1939;)

Text and illustrations in woodcuts Marsh and Shore, Birdwatching on the Cornish Coast (1948)

Some illus for The Grip of the Island, by Mary Gillett

Line drawings for Witchery of the West by Georgina Penny

Cover drawing for Stormy Petrel, novel by Violetta Thurstan (1964)

Text and line drawings for Birds of the Scilly Isles (1964)

Photos of Hilda Quick (likeness) and cover illustrations for Minack Programmes are part of the permanent exhibition in the Minack Gallery & Museum, Porthcurno.


NAG December 1925, July 1926; Tony Sanders New Gallery; NEAC 1930-37 (1); Redfern (4); RHA (1)

The Exchange, Penzance 'Print!' Apr-Jul 2011: Contemporary and historic prints/printmakers


Area Museum Council for the South West Exhibitions Catalogue, 1982-83, p10: Hilda M Quick

The Cornishman 7 Jul 1926

Census 1901

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

Hardie (2009) Artists/Newlyn & West Cornwall

http://hildaquick.com; (new website by Flaxman, under construction devoted to Hilda M Quick)

Hoyle, H (May 2011 Women Artists in Cornwall http://cornishmuse.blogspot.com) 'Hilda Quick and the Minack Theatre'

Johnson & Greutzner

NAG Exhibition records

 WCAA file