With its stunning natural beauty, it’s little wonder that artists both past and present have been drawn to Cornwall. Throughout the years Cornwall has built up an impressive reputation as a hub for all things artistic, from sculpture to paintings, you’ll be spoilt for choice with numerous galleries to visit.
We’ve put together some that are top of our list to visit…
Tate, St Ives
Of course we had to feature the Tate, St Ives on our list! Situated just above Porthmeor beach with breathtaking views across the Atlantic Ocean, this iconic gallery has a permanent collection from artists traditionally associated with St Ives, as well as an ever-changing range of exhibitions. No trip to St Ives is complete without a visit to the Tate!
Penlee House Gallery and Museum, Penzance
Described as “the artistic heart of West Cornwall's history”, Penlee House has been converted into a gallery and museum specialising in showing the area’s heritage. With a permanent collection featuring works from the famous Newlyn School of Artists, and the museum covering 6000 years of history in West Cornwall, Penlee House also features a range of temporary exhibitions.
Porthminster Gallery, St Ives
Located in one of the oldest buildings in St Ives - a converted pilchard-press – and founded in 1999, Porthminister Gallery is located right next to the beach at Westcott’s Quay. Specialising in Contemporary and Modern St Ives and British Art, visitors can view paintings, prints, sculpture, ceramics, and jewellery by established and up-and-coming artists.
Newlyn Art Gallery, Newlyn
For over 120 years, Newlyn Art Gallery has brought the best of contemporary art to audiences in the south west. After being redeveloped in 2007, a second venue, The Exchange in Penzance was opened. Across the two venues, Newlyn Art Gallery continues to present work in all media by contemporary regional, national and international artists.
Penwith Gallery, St Ives
Home to the Penwith Society of Arts, the gallery is a remarkable complex of buildings, including three public galleries, a sculpture courtyard, artists’ studios and archive. Today, Penwith Gallery offers a year-round programme of exhibitions by Society Members and Associates, as well as those by other artists from Cornwall and further afield.
Falmouth Art Gallery, Falmouth
Falmouth is the centre of artistic excellence, with Falmouth University, a renowned arts university based there. With an incredible collection of over 2000 artworks that vary wildly in style as well as an impressive collection of photographs, Falmouth Art Gallery offers an array of permanent and temporary exhibitions.
Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, Penzance
A unique attraction that is steeped in history, Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, intertwines exotic and sub-tropical planting with an evolving programme of contemporary artwork. Internationally renowned artists have worked with the setting to create site-specific permanent work that blends perfectly with the landscape. The gardens also boast two galleries and showcase a variety of work.
Polperro Arts Foundation, Polperro
Founded by a local group of talented artists in 2001, Polperro Arts Foundation is a harbour side gallery, overlooking the historic harbour. The gallery was built on the 50 year tradition of promoting the arts in Polperro, today it continues to do this by offering art programmes for adults and children and allowing its artists to have an input in how the gallery is run.
Leach Pottery, St Ives
Among the most influential potteries in the world, Leach Pottery was founded in 1920 by Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada. Over the last hundred years it has moulded the shape of Studio Pottery in the UK and further afield. Today, visitors can see Leach’s old workshop, take part in activities and view the pottery still being created there.
Anima Mundi, St Ives
Located in a former Christian Science reading rooms in St Ives, it has now been converted into a gallery, offering one of the largest spaces outside of London. Anima Mundi has a wide variety of exhibitions ranging from paintings to sculpture, displaying the work of both local and international artists.
Inspired by these galleries and looking to get creative yourself? Check out our blog post on arty days out in Cornwall!
Fancy staying in Cornwall and visiting one of these galleries? You can view our available properties here.