Art Galleries and Museums in St Ives


Discover exciting art galleries in St Ives displaying paintings and sculpture from traditional to modern contemporary.


A Quality of Light

It is no accident that St Ives is one of the few places in Britain to have its own school of painting.

In the late 19th century the town came to be popular with a group of well-known artists such as 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.

The Leach Pottery

Founded in 1920 by Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada the Leach Pottery is probably the most famous and certainly most influential studio/pottery in the world. The Leach Pottery is open to visitors seven days a week in the summer, and during August and September is offering guided tours of the old pottery museum and archive exhibition, at no extra cost, each weekday at 11am.

From November the Winter opening times are 10am - 4pm Tuesdays to Saturdays only. Last admission to the museum 3.30pm. From early January until February half term the three showrooms and shop are open. The museum is open by appointment. For extra opening times around Christmas please contact the pottery.
For details please ring 01736 799703

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The Tate

With a changing series of exhibitions throughout the year the Tate Gallery and Barbara Hepworth Gardens are a must for visitors to St Ives.

Guests staying with St Ives Holidays can save 50% off entry to The Tate, St Ives (Barbara Hepworth Gallery and Garden). Simply log-in to your account (or create one) and you'll find it listed as a Holiday Extra!

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.

The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden is based at Trewyn studios where she worked from from 1949 until her death in 1975. The museum displays sculptures in bronze, stone and wood along with paintings, drawings and archive material. The Barbara Hepworth Museum is closed for essential building maintenance until Spring 2018.

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The School of Painting

Since its creation in 1938 the St Ives school of painting has run courses for artists of all levels in its historic buildings.

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St Ives Museum

The museum contains a varied collection relating to the local town including exhibitions on fishing, farming and mining.

The musem is located in Wheal Dream just a few metres around the coast from Smeaton's Pier.

Open Easter to end of October half term.

Museums and Galleries

Many excellent artists still live and work in the town drawn by it's famed Quality of Light, and it now boasts a wide range of galleries including the famous St Ives Tate which hosts ever changing exhibitions of contemporary art, and the many smaller galleries which are home to the thriving population of artists.

Here are a selection of Galleries and Museums:

  • Barbara Hepworth, Back Street, 01736 796226, C5
  • Leach Pottery, Higher Stennack, 01736 799703, F2
  • St Ives Archive Centre, St Ives Library, 01736 796408, A6
  • St Ives Arts Club, Westcott's Quay, C6
  • St Ives Ceramics, 1 Fish Street, 01736 794930, A6
  • St Ives Museum, Wheal Dream, 01736 796005, A7
  • St Ives Society of Artists, Norway Square, 01736 795582, A5
  • St Ives Tate, Porthmeor, 01736 796226, B4

Also explore a range of over 30 local shops and galleries for a range of art, handmade crafts and jewellery.