St Ives art galleries and museums  holiday cottages

St Ives art galleries and museums

Cath 21 June 2023

St Ives is renowned for its art scene, ever since the town became popular in the 19th century when a group of well-known artists visited including Whistler who “loved the purity of the light and the warmth of the climate”.

Following them were artists whose names constitute a roll call of British art in the 20th century. The primitive painter Alfred Wallace, the potter Bernard Leach, the sculptor Barbara Hepworth and painters such as Patrick Herron.

Discover the exciting art scene in St Ives for yourself – from paintings to sculptures in both traditional and modern contemporary styles – there’s something for everyone! 

The Leach Pottery

Pottery making

Founded in 1920 by Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada, the Leach Pottery, St Ives, is among the most respected and influential potteries in the world. During your visit, you can explore the 100-year-old pottery, the clay room, the throwing room with kick wheels and Japanese climbing kiln.

  • Address: The Leach Pottery, Higher Stennack, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 2HE
  • Tel: 01736 799703
  • Opening times: Monday to Saturday: 10am - 5pm, last entry 4pm. Sunday: 11am - 4pm, March to October, last entry 3pm
  • Tickets: Standard Adult Entry: £8. Under 18: Free. Guided tours (includes entry): £13
  • Suggested duration: The Guided Tour (which is extra to book) around the Museum will take around one hour.

The Tate

Tate art gallery overlooking beach

With a changing series of exhibitions throughout the year the Tate Gallery is a must for visitors to St Ives. At the Tate Gallery you can explore the history of modern art in St Ives with works by artist such as Ben Nicholson, Peter Lanyon and Barbara Hepworth to Piet Mondrian and Naum Gabo.

Discover 100 years of art, celebrating how West Cornwall has welcomed and inspired artists and revealing new connections to artists from around the world.

  • Address: Tate St Ives, Porthmeor Beach, St Ives, TR26 1TG
  • Tel: 01736 796226
  • Opening times: Monday to Sunday 10.00–17.20
  • Tickets: £12 with donation, £10.50 without donation
  • Suggested duration: 1-2 hours

The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden

 Barbara Hepworth sculpture

Image credit: Kirstin Prisk Photography

The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden is based at Trewyn studios where she worked from 1949 until her death in 1975. The museum displays sculptures in bronze, stone and wood along with paintings, drawings and archive material.

The monumental Walk Through in the garden of the Museum was the subject of a major conservation project in May 2017, fifty years after Hepworth placed it there. The variety of patination present in this work, including the golden hollows, is once again visible following years of weathering in the marine environment.

  • Address: Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, Barnoon Hill, Saint Ives TR26 1AD
  • Tel: 01736 796226
  • Opening times: Monday to Sunday 10.00–17.20
  • Tickets: £8 with donation, £7 without donation 
  • Suggested duration: 1-2 hours

St Ives School of Painting

Person painting

Since its creation in 1938 the St Ives school of painting has run courses for artists of all levels from complete beginners to those with more experience. They now have a team of 30 contemporary artists who teach small groups in their studio overlooking Porthmeor beach.

From landscape to life, oils to watercolour, there’s something for everyone so why not take your own piece of St Ives magic back home with you?

  • Address: St Ives School of Painting, Porthmeor Studios, St Ives, TR26 1NG
  • Tel: 01736 797180
  • Tickets: 2 and a half hour courses from £40

St Ives Museum

St Ives Museum

The St Ives Museum contains a varied collection relating to the local town, all independently administered and manned by a loyal band of volunteers.

There’s a total of eight rooms on two floors which contain collections of all facets of the town’s history, including art, blacksmith, boat building, Cornish kitchen and parlour, Crysede, farming, fire brigade, fishing, flags, geology, Hain Steamship Company, lifeboat, lighthouses, mining, models, photographs, police, railway, shipwreck, toys, victorian clothes, wartime memorabilia – and the original fish curing cellar can still be seen.

  • Address: St Ives Museum, Wheal Dream, St. Ives, TR26 1PR
  • Opening times: Monday to Friday 10.30am to 4.30pm. Saturday 10.30am to 3.30pm. Closed on Sunday. The Museum is open from 1st April until the end of October.
  • Tickets: Tickets are £5 per adult and children under 16 go free!
  • Suggested duration: 1-2 hours

Porthminster Gallery

Inside Porthminster Gallery
Photo credit: Porthminster Gallery

As featured by the BBC, The Times, and previously voted winner of 'The Best Art Gallery in Cornwall' Award by readers of Cornwall Today magazine, Porthminster Gallery is one of the largest private commercial art galleries in St Ives, with an excellent reputation for shows of quality original art.   

Representing more than 60 British painters, printmakers, ceramicists, and sculptors, the bright and inviting main gallery champions art by the very best collectable, and up-and-coming names in British art. 

  • Address: Porthminster Gallery, 22 Fore Street, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 1HE
  • Tel: 01736 795888
  • Opening times: Monday – Friday: 10 am – 5 pm. Saturday: 10 am – 4 pm. Sunday: Closed

Ready to start planning your seaside holiday in Cornwall? Explore our collection of cottages in St Ives today.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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