Rose Phipps and her late husband, the artist Roger HILTON, settled in Cornwall in 1965, into a cottage near St Just in the far west of Cornwall, where she lived for the rest of her life. It was not until after his death in 1975 that she could once again return to her painting and expand her career into becoming a leading artist. In later life she was regarded as a feminist icon, and was interviewed on BBC Radio 4's 'Women's Hour'. 

In a Guardian obituary (28.3.2019) she was described as 'generous to a fault, including to those who beat a path to her door to ask only about Roger, tending his legacy and curating a centenary exhibition of his paintings at the Norman GARSTIN in 2011.'

Her paintings use both softly muted and brilliant colouration; are highly individual and identifiable.  Cross comments on comparisons with the intimate paintings of Vuillard, Bonnard and Matisse.

Among her close friends were Sandra BLOW, John MILLER, Mary STORK, Jane AKEROYD, Patrick HERON and many others of the Newlyn and Penwith Societies, of which she was a member.  She exhibited at many mixed and solo exhibitions, and regularly at the David Messum Gallery, London. Her work is avidly collected.

A much-loved and highly acclaimed painter, Rose Hilton died in March 2019, aged 87.


Painter of domestic subjects, interiors and landscape, primarily in oils

works and access

Balcony Scene; Gingerly She Lay; Still Life with Violin; Towards St Ives (2011)

Access to works: David Messum, London; Hypatia Collection of Women's Art, Penzance; Cornwall Council



1972: University of Birmingham (Orion Gallery Touring) Artists of Cornwall Exhibition (as Rose Phipps)

1977: NAG Newlyn in Pont Aven (touring exchange)

1977, 1987: NAG Solo exhibitions

1988: Art Share Fundraising Educational Programme for NAG

1989: A Century of Art in Cornwall (CCC Centenery exhibition), Truro (selected)

David Messum exhibitions, see Website for gallery paintings

WCAA Founding Art Auction (Donor) Queens Hotel, Penzance, April 2004

2008: Solo exhibition, Tate St Ives, 'The Beauty of Ordinary Things - A Selected Retrospective 1950-2007'

2010: Mixed Christmas Show, Stoneman Gallery, Penzance Dec-Jan 2011

2011: 'The Female Perspective' Group show, Chapel Gallery, Gulval, April-May

2011: 'Uncharted Landscapes' Group show (NSA), Mariners' Chapel, St Ives

Open Studios Cornwall 2011; 2015

2013: Newlyn Art Gallery - Newlyn School of Art Tutors Fundraising Exhibition (24 Oct-2 Nov)

2017: 'Rose Hilton and Friends - Fifty Years in Cornwall', Tremenheere Sculpture Gadens (28 Jan-26 Feb)

2017: 'Rose Hilton - A Celebration', Falmouth Art Gallery (12 June-22 July)

2019: The World as Yet Unseen, Falmouth Art Gallery (6 Apr-15 June)


NSA 1972-3 list, ff


Personal bibliography

Lambirth (2009) Something to Keep the Balance (120 colour & 30 b&w illus)

Lambirth (2009) The Beauty of Ordinary Things

David Messum Exhibition catalogues, London


Brittain, Sarah and Cook, Simon (2001) Behind the Canvas, 40 Artists working in West Cornwall;

Cornishman 9 Dec 2010, Stoneman Gallery Christmas Show (mixed), Penzance

Cornishman (11 Aug 2011): 'When two societies collide' by F Ruhrmund

Cross (2002) Catching the Wave: Contemporary Art and Artists in Cornwall 1975-present day (pp134-8, likeness & illus)

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

Hoyle, H (Sept 2010 Women Artists in Cornwall 'An Historical Perspective'

Hoyle, H (Oct 2011 Women Artists in Cornwall 'Louise Connell at Falmouth Art Gallery'

McLeod, Alister J (1973) Newlyn Society of Artists 1895-1973 (NAG 12 page brochure); [under Phipps]

Public Catalogue Foundation (2007) Cornwall & IOS, Oil Paintings in Public Ownership;