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

Castallack, Lamorna Valley

Oil on canvas. On Loan from private collection.

Stanley Gardiner

1888 - 1952

One of the Lamorna group of painters, Stanley Gardiner spent the last 30 years of his life living and working in the Lamorna valley. His vitality as a man and a painter is delightfully captured in R.C. Weatherby's portrait of him in Penlee House's collection.



Stanley Gardiner - 1888 - 1952

Born in Reading, Stanley Gardiner began his career as an apprentice decorator, and his first artistic works were produced using house paint on cardboard. His formal education in art began with a scholarship to Reading University, followed by a period of study at the Allen Fraser Art College in Arbroath, and he then travelled to America to work and teach.

In the early 1920s Gardiner returned to England and, on a visit to Cornwall, he met the artist S.J.‘Lamorna’ Birch who encouraged him to settle in the Lamorna valley. At first he suffered extreme poverty, forcing him to live in an army hut behind ‘The Wink’ public house. In order to augment his income, he made picture frames for many of the Newlyn and Lamorna artists, including Stanhope Forbes.

Eventually achieving success with his painting, Gardiner exhibited widely and showed work at the Royal Academy between 1927 and 1947. He ran a small painting school from his home at Lily Cottage in Lamorna, overlooking the river, where he lived until his death in 1952.