A Peaceful Haven: Artists of the Lamorna Valley (1895 - 1955)

From the day Samuel J. Birch changed his name to S. J. Lamorna Birch in 1895 and made Lamorna his home,  the valley was a magnate for artists for the next 50 years.  This lecture looks at the wide variety of painters and sculptors, printmakers and craftspeople who came to live in this secluded peaceful corner of Cornwall.

Artists as well as Birch included Ithell Colquhoun,  Stanley Gardiner, Gluck,  Frank Gascoigne Heath, Eleanor and Robert Hughes, Laura and Harold Knight, Denys Law, Alfred Munnings,  Charles and Ella Naper, Charles and Ruth Simpson,  Richard Weatherby  and Kate Westrup.

Art in a Cornish Church – Annie Walke and the artists who made paintings for St. Hilary Church

The Reverend Bernard Walke was the Catholic/Anglican vicar of St. Hilary Church for twenty years. In that time he and his wife the painter Annie Walke (1877 - 1965) befriended many of the artists living and visiting Cornwall at the time and invited them to make paintings for the church. This lecture looks at the work of Annie Walke and works by other artists such as Ernest Procter and Roger Fry that were made for St. Hilary.

Dod and Ernest Procter – A Cornish Romance

Dod Shaw came to study at the Forbes School in Newlyn when she was just 15 years old. Here she met the artist Ernest Procter and they married in 1912. They both became known for their strong figure work, which this lecture compares and contrasts. After Ernest died in I936, Dod travelled the world and painted many portraits of native people in the West Indies and Africa. She became a Royal Academician in 1942, one of the few women to achieve this status at the time. This lecture also features her still lifes and flower paintings.

Famous Husbands and Talented Wives –
Charles and Ruth Simpson, Jill and Geoffrey Garnier.

Ruth Alison (1889 - 1964) and Jill Blythe (1890 - 1966) were both talented students at the Forbes School of Painting in Newlyn when they met their respective husbands. Charles Simpson was already an established painter and Geoffrey Garnier had been an engineer but wanted to be an artist so came to Newlyn to study figure painting. Geoffrey became an established printmaker based in Cornwall specialising in aquatints and Charles, went on to become a famous equestrian and wildlife painter. This lecture features the little known work of the wives alongside the husbands more famous work.

Harold Harvey –
A Cornish Painter and friends

One of the few Newlyn School artists who can be called Cornish, Harold Harvey who was born in Penzance, had a large output of work through his life of colourful, domestic and Cornish scenes. His work echoes the styles of many of his contemporaries including Laura Knight but he developed his own unique approach, which is only recently becoming appreciated. His wife Gertrude Harvey was also a painter and this lecture looks at both artists work.

Lamorna Birch –
A leader in Cornish Landscape Painting

Born in 1869, Samuel John Birch is estimated to have painted over 20,000 works of art in his long artistic life which ended in 1955.He came from humble beginnings in Cheshire and made his name in Manchester before making the Lamorna Valley near Newlyn both his adopted home and name. His subject was landscape, and in particular the Cornish landscape. This lecture presents the diverse range of materials, styles and views Birch used to capture this remote and unspoilt land.

Love, Art and Tragedy –
Close encounters in a Cornish Art colony

The setting is a remote Cornish valley called Lamorna; the time, the early 1900s, the characters include Alfred Munnings, his young wife Florence Carter-Wood, Laura and Harold Knight, Ella and Charles Naper, Captain Evans and Lamorna Birch. They all become very close and in the melting pot of creativity, a tragedy occurs. This talk looks at the art that was being created by these artists and the story behind the tragedy.

Munnings in Cornwall (1910 - 1917)

Visits to Cornwall  made between 1910 and 1917 were to have a profound effect on Alfred Munnings.  Not only would he find a freedom which allowed him to paint new subjects but his friendships with other artists such as Laura and Harold Knight, Frank and Jessica Heath and his love of Florence Carter - Wood were to be very important to him.  Munnings subjects whilst in Cornwall included the Zennor hunt, The St. Buryan races, as well as cows, pigs, and the rocks at Lamorna as well as young ladies. We look at how he developed his skill as a painter, how others saw him, and how he remembered Cornwall in later life.




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H. Knight, Florence Carter-Wood
Annie Walke, Joan of Arc ©St.Hilary Church
Lamorna Birch, Spring Morning ©Penlee House
Jill Garnier, Portrait of a young lady © Falmouth Art Gallery
Dod Procter, Young Girl
H. Harvey, Picking Blackberries
H. Knight, Florence Carter-Wood
H. Knight, Florence Carter-Wood