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The Best Public and Online Art Galleries in Cornwall: Exhibiting Cornish Art and Paintings

  • 4 min read

Wilamena Dyer at the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden in St Ives, Cornwall

Above: Wilamena exploring one of the stunning Barbara Hepworth Sculptures in St ives

There are many public and online art galleries to view in Cornwall that exhibit Cornish art and paintings.

Some of the best include the Tate Gallery in St Ives, the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro, and the Newlyn Art Gallery. These galleries feature some of the best contemporary Cornish artists and paintings, as well as historical pieces from Cornwall's past. If you're interested in learning more about Cornish art, or want to see some amazing paintings from this region, then be sure to check out these galleries.

As I sit here in my attic studio in Falmouth, Storm Eunice is battering the south west coastline. From my window, I can see the sea drifting sideways along the coast as the gusts of wind batter the side of the house and lift the tiles on the roof. So I believe the time has come to think about the summer and all the beautiful Cornish artwork available for us to view while touring the region!

Given the history of art in Cornwall, there are several public art galleries that own public collections and show touring exhibitions which are well worth a visit.

Here is a list of the most well-known ones:

Tate Gallery in St Ives

The Tate St Ives is a must for any serious art lover. It has been open since 1993 and houses over 500 works of art from renowned international artists such as Roger Hilton, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, and Patrick Heron. The collection also includes pieces by Cornish painters Alfred Wallis (1855-1942), Terry Frost (1915-2003) and Wilhelmina Barnes-Graham (1912-2004).

Aeriel photo of The Tate Gallery, St Ives

Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, St Ives

The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden is dedicated to the work of British sculptor Dame Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975). It is located in the town of St Ives, Cornwall, where Hepworth was born and raised. It contains a permanent collection of her sculptures, all set out in the charming and peaceful garden where she would sit and find inspiration.

Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden

Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro

The Royal Cornwall Museum is one of the oldest and best-known museums in the UK. It was founded by Sir John Hawkins, who donated his collection of over 700 objects to create a museum for the people of Cornwall. The museum has been collecting artworks since its founding day. It features art from all over Cornwall, as well as collections of natural history, archaeology and ethnography.

Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro

Penlee House Gallery and Museum, Penzance

The Penlee House Gallery and Museum is situated in the town of Penzance. The building was originally a private house built in the 18th century and transformed into an art gallery in 1961. The museum has a permanent collection of work by local artists, as well as temporary exhibitions featuring contemporary craftspeople from Cornwall and beyond. It is set within a beautiful park setting and is well worth a visit.

Penlee House Art Gallery and Museum

Falmouth Art Gallery

The Falmouth Art Gallery is a public art gallery in the town of Falmouth, Cornwall. It was established in 1904 and is the oldest art gallery in Cornwall. The gallery has a permanent collection of work by Cornish artists, as well as changing exhibitions of contemporary art from all over the UK. All 3 artists represented by The John Dyer Gallery - John Dyer, Joanne Short, and Ted Dyer, have art work in the permanent collection. If you are disappointed and a particular painting isn't on show, the Gallery can arrange a private viewing in their storeroom. A full collection of these artists' paintings can be viewed on our online gallery where you will find their superb value art work.

Falmouth Art Gallery

Newlyn Art Gallery

The Newlyn Art Gallery & Exchange has a unique and varied exhibition schedule of contemporary arts at its two locations, with contemporary work from regional, national, and international artists displayed in all media. A supporting program of events is also available.

Newlyn Art Gallery has been offering the best in contemporary art to audiences in the South West for more than 125 years. The gallery was completely rebuilt in 2007, and established a second venue, The Exchange, in Penzance at that time. They provide an internationally recognised contemporary art program.

Newlyn Art Gallery

So, there you have it - some of the best public and online art galleries in Cornwall that exhibit and offer superb Cornish art. If you're ever in the area, be sure to check them out! And if you can't make it down to Cornwall, never fear - The John Dyer Gallery in Falmouth has got you covered with ideas on our online gallery, art gifts from our online shop and the very best contemporary website for Cornish art, prints and original paintings from our family of artists.

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