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

Image: 'Forty Winks' by Fred Hall. 

Penlee House Gallery & Museum ©The Artist’s Estate/Bridgeman Art Library

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 13 - 17 June, 5 - 9 September & 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 


Fred Hall: From Newlyn School to Caricature

26 March - 11 June 2016

As well as producing some outstanding rural realist paintings during his time at Newlyn, Fred Hall (1860 – 1948) left a unique legacy in the form of witty caricatures of his fellow artists. Born in Stillington  in Yorkshire, Fred Hall studied in Antwerp alongside Frank Bramley and became a keen advocate of the new ‘square brush’ technique, along with painting in the open air, making him a natural candidate for the new art colony in Newlyn, where he settled from the mid-1880s to 1898. This exhibition brings together a range of work from this versatile artist who also painted not only in Newlyn, but also the landscapes around Porlock and Newbury. 


Compass'd by the Inviolate Sea: Marine Painting in Cornwall from Turner to Wallis

18 June - 3 September 2016

From the 19th century onwards, artists were drawn to the Cornish coast, capturing on paper and canvas the romance and rawness of rocks and waves. After JMW Turner’s paintings and engravings from his visits in 1811 and 1813 became widely known, leading British marine artists painted in Cornwall, producing iconic images of places such as Land’s End, St Michael’s Mount, Kynance Cove, Gurnard’s Head and Tintagel. From the 1880s, artists settled in Newlyn, St Ives and Falmouth and depicted the lives of the local fishing communities.  The marine tradition was continued in St Ives by Julius Olsson and later, his students, such as Borlase Smart and John Park. However, it was the naive marine paintings on bits of rough cardboard by rag-and-bone man, Alfred Wallis, which were to inspire Ben Nicholson and, through him, a whole generation of British modernists. Immerse yourself in Penlee’s summer show and discover why the Cornish coast was held in such fascination by some of Britain’s finest artists. Curated with the assistance of David Tovey. Ground floor galleries: a selection of Newlyn School and Lamorna Group paintings on view upstairs in Gallery 5

Later, in 2016:

Whilhelmina Barns-Graham: A Scottish Artist in St Ives, 10 September - 19 November

Penhaul Undiscovered, 26 November - 7 January 2017