Penlee House Gallery & Museum, Penzance
The artistic heart of West Cornwall's history

The Blue Studio, 1947-8

By Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, courtesy of the Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation

PLEASE NOTE: it is necessary to close some of the galleries between exhibitions, so please do check what is open before making a special journey during those times. In 2016, the downstairs exhibition galleries will be closed for re-hang on 21 - 25 November. Entrance to Penlee is FREE during rehang week.

Not all the paintings are on show at any one time. If there is a particular picture that you would like to see, please let us know in advance of your visit or on the day.

CLICK HERE for a PDF of the current brochure

CLICK HERE for past exhibitions 

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: A Scottish Artist in St Ives

10 September - 19 November 2016

With work from every period of her varied career, this exhibition casts a light on the influence of her Scottish background, while exploring her training at Edinburgh College of Art and her continuing links to Scotland following her move to St Ives.

Originally from St Andrews, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham (1912 – 2004) established an international reputation as a leading British modernist in St Ives, where she lived throughout her life. In 1951, she won the Painting Prize in the Penwith Society of Arts in Cornwall Festival of Britain Exhibition and went on to have her first London solo exhibition at the Redfern Gallery in 1952. She was included in many of the important exhibitions on pioneering British abstract art that took place in the 1950s. Though not short of exposure throughout the 1960s and 70s, her next greatest successes came in the last decade of her life. Download the exhibition handlist here

Organised in association with The Barns-Graham Charitable Trust and curated by Lynne Green. To watch a short film about Whilhelmina Barns-Graham, 'Looking in Looking out' by Tim Fitzpatrick, 2012 for the Barns-Graham Trust, click on this link: Barns-Graham film
Ground floor galleries: a selection of Newlyn School and Lamorna Group paintings on view upstairs in Gallery 5


Penhaul Undiscovered

26 November 2016 - 7 January 2017 

Photographer Harry Penhaul (1914 – 1957) dedicated his life to documenting the events and everyday lives of local people. After the war, he worked as a freelance press photographer for The Cornishman newspaper, earning the affectionate nickname of ‘Flash Harry’. This selection of work from the archive of Penhaul’s work at Penlee House shows what life was like for people on the Penwith Peninsula in the 20th century. There is still plenty more to discover and we’re hoping that visitors to the exhibition can help! This is a chance for everyone to learn more about this historic collection and to shed new light on these wonderful images.

Gallery 5 – a selection of Newlyn School paintings in Galleries 2, 3 & 4. Free admission


Crafts for Christmas: a selling exhibition of Cornish craft

Penlee House’s annual selling exhibition of work by Cornwall Crafts offers the chance to find a special gift for a loved-one or a unique acquisition for yourself, with a wealth of items by some of Britain’s leading craftspeople, all of which are available for immediate purchase. Gallery 1. Free admission