Penwith Gallery

Located in the heart of St Ives, Cornwall, the Penwith Gallery stands as a celebrated centre of contemporary art, steeped in the rich artistic tradition of the region.

Established in 1949 by artists including Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, and Peter Lanyon,

Penwith Gallery not only offers a stunning array of modern art but also serves as a historical landmark, echoing the creative spirit of its founders.

The Allure of Penwith Gallery

Penwith Gallery is renowned for its vibrant exhibitions that showcase works by members of the Penwith Society of Arts in Cornwall.

The gallery provides a dynamic platform for both established and emerging artists, featuring a diverse range of media including painting, sculpture, and printmaking.

Its connection to the St Ives Modernist movement makes it a must-visit for art lovers and those interested in the history of British art.

Why Visit Penwith Gallery?

Rich Artistic Legacy: The gallery is rooted in the history of the St Ives School, which played a crucial role in the development of British Modernism.

Diverse Exhibitions: With a regular rotation of exhibitions, the gallery presents an eclectic mix of contemporary visual art that reflects current trends and traditional techniques.

Stunning Architecture and Setting: Located in a beautifully renovated stone building, the gallery itself is a work of art, featuring a sculpture garden where visitors can enjoy works in an outdoor setting.

Support for Local Artists: Penwith Gallery is committed to supporting the local artistic community, providing a vital platform for Cornish artists to gain recognition and reach new audiences.

Exploring Penwith Gallery

Main Gallery and Studio Spaces

Exhibition Spaces: The main gallery hosts a continually changing programme of exhibitions, offering visitors a fresh experience with each visit.

Artists’ Studios: The gallery complex includes studios used by local artists, sometimes open to the public during special events or by appointment.

Sculpture Garden

Outdoor Exhibits: The sculpture garden at Penwith Gallery is a peaceful retreat that displays a variety of sculptures in bronze, stone, and other materials, set against the backdrop of the gallery’s lush gardens.

Educational Programmes and Events

Workshops and Talks: Penwith Gallery hosts a range of educational programmes, artist talks, and workshops, designed to engage the community and provide deeper insights into contemporary art practices.

Plan Your Visit to Penwith Gallery

Getting There

Location: Penwith Gallery is located on Back Road West in St Ives, Cornwall, easily accessible by foot from the town centre.

Parking: As parking in St Ives can be challenging, especially during peak tourist season, visitors are advised to use public car parks around the town or arrive via public transport.

Best Times to Visit

Opening Times: The gallery is typically open year-round, but hours can vary seasonally. Check the gallery’s website or contact them directly for current opening hours and exhibition schedules.

Visiting During Exhibitions: To make the most of your visit, check the gallery’s exhibition calendar and plan to visit during an opening or a special event for a more immersive experience.

Facilities and Amenities

Accessibility: The gallery and most of its exhibitions are accessible to visitors with disabilities.

Shop and Cafe: The gallery features a shop where visitors can purchase prints, books, and souvenirs. While there is no cafe on site, St Ives offers numerous nearby options for dining and refreshments.

Beyond the Gallery: Nearby Attractions

St Ives: Explore the charming town of St Ives, renowned for its beautiful beaches, vibrant arts scene, and other cultural institutions like the Tate St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth Museum.

Coastal Walks: Take advantage of the stunning coastal walks around St Ives, offering breathtaking views and a chance to explore the natural beauty of Cornwall’s rugged coastline.

Tips for a Memorable Visit

Respect the Art: Photography policies vary by exhibition, so ask about the current policy upon arrival.

Engage with Staff: The gallery staff and docents are knowledgeable about the current exhibitions and the history of the Penwith Society—don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation to enhance your understanding of the art on display.

Conclusion: Experience Contemporary Art in a Historic Setting

Penwith Gallery offers a unique combination of contemporary art, historical significance, and a stunning setting in one of Cornwall’s most artistic towns.

Whether you’re an art aficionado, a casual browser, or someone interested in the artistic heritage of Cornwall, Penwith Gallery provides an enriching and enjoyable experience that connects the vibrant legacy of the past with the dynamic expressions of the present.