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


Oil on canvas

Ernest Procter

1886 - 1935

Ernest Procter was a star student of the Forbes' School of Painting when the teenage Doris 'Dod' Shaw arrived: the couple married a few years later and became one of several talented partnerships in their social set that included the Knights, Harveys, Garniers and Napers.



Ernest Procter - 1886 - 1935

Born in Northumberland, Ernest Procter was the son of a distinguished scientist and staunch Quaker. In 1907, he came to Newlyn to study at the Forbes’s School of Painting where he fast became a star student. After three years there, he went to Paris to attend the Atelier Colarossi, where he was joined by Doris (‘Dod’) Shaw, whom he had met at the Forbes’ school. The couple married in Newlyn in 1912, but did not settle there until after the First World War, Ernest having spent the War years in the Friends Ambulance Service.

In 1920, Procter and his close friend Harold Harvey set up a school of painting of their own in Newlyn, offering tuition in oils and watercolour, studying the Figure, Still Life and Landscape.

Dod and Ernest Procter were among those who painted religious scenes for the church of St. Hilary (near Penzance), at the request of Rev. Bernard Walke. These can still be seen there today.

In 1934, Procter was appointed Director of Studies in Design and Craft at Glasgow School of Art. He retained his base in Cornwall and continued to exhibit all over the country. Having long suffered from high blood pressure, the combined stress of the job and the travel doubtless contributed to his tragically early death, aged forty-nine, only a year later