An exhibition of culturally significant Cornish artwork opens to the public for the first time on Mount St. Michael in October.
The Sheila Hichens collection of paintings by well-known Newlyn School artists will be on display in the island’s newly refurbished Steward’s House.
Sheila Hichens was born in 1924 and her childhood was deeply rooted in West Cornwall, where her father was headmaster of Lescudjack School in Penzance and her grandfather lived in Newlyn.
After winning a scholarship to the University of Exeter, she had a successful career as an educator and traveled widely, but in retirement she moved back to live in Mousehole before she could buy her former home. grandfather in Newlyn.
Sheila died in 2012 and under her will the Sheila Hichens Trust was formed to create a specific art collection to show how life was lived in West Cornwall before the mid-20th century.
Its administrators are William Rogers and Lord St Levan.
The vast majority of the collection is by artists from the Newlyn School and includes works by Walter Langley, Stanhope Forbes, Laura Knight and Harold Harvey.
The Newlyn School began in the 1880s and continued into the first half of the 20th century.
Artists came to West Cornwall attracted by the beauty of the landscapes and the quality of the light.
They also had a philosophy of realism which meant that much of their art was well suited to the purposes of the Collection.
Lord St Levan said: “Sheila Hichens’ vision was to illuminate the way life was once lived in West Cornwall through paintings made at the time by artists from the Newlyn School.
“It’s an honor to be able to grant wishes by sharing this Collection with the public.”
The Sheila Hichens Collection will be free to visit when the Mount is open from Sunday October 2, 2022 to Sunday April 30, 2023.
During the busy summer period from May to September 2023, the Steward’s House will only be open to schools, colleges and other local community groups.
Find out more about the exhibition by visiting www.stmichaelsmount.co.uk