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



Image: Stanely Gardiner by R.C. Weatherby

Our current exhibition is Artists by Themselves, on display until 8 June 2019.

The exhibition features a selection of over sixty portraits of artists associated with the internationally renowned Newlyn School and Lamorna Colonies such as Stanhope and Elizabeth Forbes, Walter Langley, Fred Hall, Laura and Harold Knight, Dod and Ernest Procter and Lamorna Birch to name but a few. If you have ever wondered what these artists looked like, now is your chance to find out!

Rather than focusing on their more familiar subject matters such as the social history of the local area or the bright landscapes of West Cornwall, we are seeking to give an insight into the artists’ own lives by showing self-portraits and portraits of the artists and their families by their contemporaries.

The exhibition features favourites such as Fred Hall’s intimate caricatures of the early Newlyn School artists including Stanhope Forbes, Norman Garstin and Frank Bramley alongside self-portraits by these artists.  Also on show will be the impressive and large painting Spring by Laura Knight, which depicts fellow artists and friends Charles and Ella Naper, and a previously unseen portrait of Robert Morson Hughes, painted by Harold Knight as a ‘study’ for his painting The Council.  

Borrowed from a range of public organisations such as Tate, the Royal Academy and Gallery Oldham, the exhibition features several portraits from Penlee House’s own collections, as well as works on loan from private collections. In addition, the show incorporates photographs of some of the artists to really give a feel for how well their likenesses, and perhaps personalities, have been captured.

Also showing: 

Penlee House and the Branwells

A new mini exhibition, Penlee House and the Branwells, is opening on 27 April 2019 at Penlee House Gallery & Museum in Penzance.

Who were the Branwells and how did they come to live in such a grand house? The story unfolds using archive photographs and artefacts brought together to show the family and their life in this elegant Victorian villa, built in the 1860s.

Visitors will be able to imagine themselves in Victorian Penlee House the moment they walk up the steps to the entrance, as window displays allow a peep into the dining room of Mr and Mrs Branwell.

The exhibition continues on the first floor with photographs, documents and belongings all related to the house and family, together with a beautiful watercolour of Penlee House by the late John Miller.

Penlee House and the Branwells runs until 1 June 2019 and is the work of a volunteer team of Citizen Curators. 


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. Click here for 2019 dates

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  


Munnings in Cornwall