About Penlee House Gallery & Museum
A programme of changing exhibitions celebrates the skill and craftsmanship of painting in west Cornwall in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
The Newlyn School (c.1880 – c.1940)
Penlee House is home to a great many paintings by members of the Newlyn School. The area’s spectacular scenery has attracted visiting artists since the early 19th century. In the 1880s, numerous British painters began to arrive in Newlyn, many of whom had trained in Paris or Antwerp. Newlyn offered scenes and lives scarcely touched by the industrial revolution, with plentiful, cheap accommodation and willing models. Soon, a host of artists settled, forming the colony known as the Newlyn School.
Penlee House has a programme of around four exhibitions every year, each of which features an aspect of the historic art and culture of the area. In addition, there is usually at least one room dedicated to Newlyn School and Lamorna Group paintings, plus galleries dedicated to archaeology and social history.
The Social History and Archaeology galleries show how people have lived and worked in West Cornwall for thousands of years. The galleries include Bronze Age jewellery found locally, 1930s fashion, historical artefacts and curiosities, even a home-made bike!
Penlee House Gallery & Museum offers a varied and exciting programme of workshops for schools and groups of all ages and abilities, linked to the National Curriculum. We also offer outreach sessions if you are unable to come to the gallery.
History and Location
History of the House
Built in 1865 as a gracious Victorian home, Penlee House has been converted to create a first class gallery and museum set within an attractive park. It specialises in showing the area’s unique cultural heritage incorporating the historic collections of Penzance Town Council, Cornwall Council and Newlyn Art Gallery.
The surrounding park has sub-tropical plants and mature trees. The tranquil Memorial Garden and Sensory Garden offer places for quiet enjoyment. For younger visitors the park also offers a children’s play area.