Robert Morson HUGHES

Robert Morson HUGHES

Born in Kent and educated at Sevenoaks, he trained at Lambeth School of Art (where he was influenced by Buxton Knight) and the South London Technical Art School.

Hughes came first to Lamorna in 1905 with Charles Crimbie (popular illustrator), and became a friend of Lamorna BIRCH. He returned to Kent but came back to Lamorna in 1909, to attend Forbes School with Frank Gascoigne HEATH and Eleanor W WAYMOUTH.  In 1910 he married fellow student Eleanor Waymouth at the Church at St Buryan, and they built their own home, Chyangwheal, between the Lamorna Valley and Boleigh Farm, where they remained together for the rest of their lives.

The St Ives Times reported his work extensively during the 1924 Show Day, his principal picture being the original study for a picture of the rhododendron dell at Kew Gardens, painted for Her Majesty, Queen Mary.  This depicted a winding path through great masses of bushes of colour: 'Mr Hughes was commissioned to paint no less than eight pictures for Her Majesty...He also showed three oils, intended for the RA, one an evening effect in summer over St Ives Bay, the chief feature of which is the contrast of the patch of warm sand, on which the sun is concentrated with the intense blue of the sea and the greys of the sky.' His best works were his depictions of the rugged coastline near Lamorna.

Their close friends were the Birch family, the Leaders, the Napers, the Heaths, the Simpsons, and all of the talented, friendly crowd around the Lamorna Valley.


Landscape and coastal painter

works and access

Works include: Ding Dong, Moonlight (1913); The Merry Maidens; Cornish Engine HousesAcross the Bay and Summer Evening (1921); Summer Landscape, with distant view of St Buryan churchA Mountain Valley and A Gentle Day (1928); From the Top of the Hill (1937); Boscastle and Cliffs (1937); Boscastle (1937); The Cliffs near Land's End; West Penwith Landscape

Access to works: Penlee House, Penzance (NAG col); Leeds; Royal Collections


RA (21) 1910-1938

NEAC International Society


Goupil Gallery


NAG 1912, first gallery sale March 1914, Revival Exhibition September 1920, September, Summer 1921, December 1924, Spring and December, Spring 1926, July and December 1926, Summer 1928, March 1931, July 1932, July 1937

Lanham's March 1924 (including an original study of one of 8 pictures commisioned for Her Maj Queen Mary, and 3 oils for the RA)


STISA 1933-53

NSA 1924ff


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 (p216, col pl Below Carn Barges)

Holmes (1993) Artistic Tradition

NAG Sales records (repr Hardie 2009)

Newton et al (2005) Painting at the Edge

Public Catalogue Foundation (2007) Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly: Oil Paintings in Public Ownership p81 (2 paintings), p114

Pyms (1984) Exhibition catalogue

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

Tovey (2003) Creating a Splash

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

Wallace (2002) Under the Open Sky

Wormleighton (1995) A Painter Laureate