Former Chairman of NAG Council of Management (1994-6), Hardie continues to work with the Gallery on projects and exhibitions where some historical perspective may be required. An example of this was the (2011) Centennial exhibition in celebration of the life and achievements of the 19th century philanthropist and Cornishman, John Passmore Edwards (1823-1911), who funded the building of the Newlyn Art Gallery (John Opie Memorial) in 1895.
She is a writer and publisher on local art history, and the editor of the centennial book about NAG published in 1995, 100 Years in Newlyn, Diary of a Gallery 1895-1995 (available from the Gallery). In 2009 Artists in Newlyn & West Cornwall 1880-1940, A Dictionary & Sourcebook was published, in which she brought together a large team of contributors to help tell the stories of this remarkable collection of artists who worked in Cornwall. Acting as Coordinator of the West Cornwall Art Archive and the Hypatia Art Collection, she contributes regularly to the various activities of related groups, until 2016 acting as general editor of developments such as this Cornwall Artists' Index Project (CAI).
In the 2010 exhibition 'Exquisite Trove', sponsored by The House of Fairy Tales (July-October) at NAG, Hardie exhibited her installation created with the artist Roy CALLOW, entitled The DWELLINGS Bookcase, a telling of her own life through the books she had read and valued, and which were placed in miniature replicas of the houses she had lived in.
In 2016 she retired from the General Editorship of this Index (CAI), a voluntary post requiring daily attention to a myriad of detail about artists far and wide. In the 2012 Honours list, she was appointed a MBE (Member of the British Empire) and received her Medal in March, 2013 from the Queen, 'for services to the arts and heritage of West Cornwall'.
2019 saw the publication of Melissa Hardie's Bronte Territories: Cornwall and the Unexplored Maternal Legacy, 1760-1870.
Author, designer and painter, lecturer, publisher
works and access
Books: See Open Library (on-line)
Works incl: Dwellings Bookcase (& accompanying leaflet-book); etchings; decorative interior furnishings; murals;
Access: Trevelyan House, 16 Chapel Street, Penzance, Cornwall TR18 4AW
1988: Lamorna Kerr Art Group, Annual Exhibition of Paintings, Lamorna Village Hall
2004: Co-organiser with Andrea & John GARRIHY, WCAA Founding Art Auction (2004), Queen's Hotel
2010: Exhibitor, 'Exquisite Trove' exhibition, Newlyn Art Gallery & The House of Fairy Tales (July-Oct)
2010: 'The Penguin Collector' with Kelvin Hearn, Trevelyan House, August
2011: Exhibition collaborator: Passmore Edwards Centennial, NAG 29 January-2nd May
2012: Co-organiser, 'Hypatia's Handbag' Exhibition with Andrea GARRIHY and Susan Hoyle, Trevelyan House, Penzance, July (publication), featuring numerous West Cornwall artist-makers and painters
Hypatia Trust, Trustee
The Nightingale Fellowship, St Thomas' Hospital, London
Fellow, Linnean Society
Fellow, Royal Society of Arts
Archivist, Royal Geological Society of Cornwall
Hon Curator, Hypatia Trust Collections
misc further info
Melissa Hardie is the Founder Director of the Hypatia Trust, an educational charity and research group that studies, documents and publishes in the field of women's history. Trevelyan House, 16 Chapel Street, Penzance serves as the offices of the Trust and a the contact point for the West Cornwall Art Archive. Available, for the purposes of research into topics of relevance to practising artists, and to art historians are files relating to visual and literary artists who have worked and/or lived in Cornwall, and have taken some inspiration from this environment. The physical location of the West Cornwall Art Archive has been found at the Newlyn Centre, Chywoone Hill, and the organiser for the new facility (in process of cleaning and collating) is Dr Pamela LOMAX, art historian and author.
(1995) Editor 100 Years in Newlyn, Diary of a Gallery (illus in col & b&w)
(2000) With Judith Cook & Christiana Payne Singing from the Walls, The Life and Art of Elizabeth Armstrong Forbes (Catalogue Raisonne)
(2000) Penzance, the town and around
(2007) NAG Heritage Lectures: 'A Carrier of Dreams: Newlyn Art Gallery, Newlyn, Cornwall, The Legacy of John Passmore Edwards', Essay (October 31, 2007 at NAG - copies available upon request).
(2009) Editor Artists in Newlyn & West Cornwall 1880-1940 A Dictionary and Source Book, Bristol: Art Dictionaries Ltd.
(2010) The Dwellings Bookcase, A life in books
(2010) Jessica Mann 'Marking the Music of Time' [in] The Lady, 20 July issue, pp22-4: Dwellings Bookcase illus
(2011) NAG Heritage Lectures: 'Building on a Theme: John Passmore Edwards and the Arts & Sciences', Wed 16 March, 11am.
(2019) Author: Bronte Territories: Cornwall and the Unexplored Maternal Legacy, 1760-1870.