3rd – 7th June 2024
Our trip will celebrate Modern artists in Cornwall, so where better to base ourselves than St Ives? Here, we will explore figures such as Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson and Naum Gabo, all of whom migrated to St Ives in search of artistic freedom in the 1920s and 30s. The fisherman’s cottages, slate roofs and cobbled streets still attract artists today, as well as the surrounding bays of turquoise waters. The last few years have seen Tate St Ives complete an extension which hosts an exciting program of temporary exhibitions. We will make a visit to Newlyn and Penzance where we will get to know the Newlyn school of artists who were drawn to the South Coast of Cornwall for its special quality of light, as well as a group of maverick modernists and surrealists including Gluck, Ithell Colquhoun and Marlow Moss. We will also take some time to visit the extraordinary gardens in the area which enjoy an unusually warm climate suitable for tropical planting.
We have chosen a light and bright Victorian hotel over looking the harbour of St Ives, and wittled down the numerous wonderful eateries to our favourite few pubs and restaurants.
Monday 3rd June
We will meet at the hotel in the early afternoon before setting out on a walk around town, where we will begin to piece together the historical context of this artist’s haven. We will then have supper at a very good restaurant as we watch the sun set over the sea – the perfect start to our trip.
Tuesday 4th June
We will begin the day with a walk to Tate St Ives, where the main galleries are dedicated to exploring modern art in Cornwall and its relationship to the wider world. The collection provides an overview of 20th century art from the perspective of St Ives, showing excellent examples of work by both British and International artists from Ben Nicholson and Ithell Colquhoun to Joan Mitchell and Piet Mondrian. The roof of the gallery has a wonderful café with stunning views looking over Porthmeor beach. We will stop for coffee before walking up the hill to visit the grave of Alfred Wallis, a fisherman who began painting at the age of 70. He achieved little commercial success but was championed and loved by the progressive artists living and working in St Ives at the time.
After a delicious lunch, we will visit the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden where the artist lived and worked from 1949 until her death. We will then go on to the St Ives church, to see Hepworth’s touching Madonna and Child. We will end the day in a lively restaurant in the heart of the old fishing quarter of St Ives.
Wednesday 5th June
The day will start with a visit to the Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, an extraordinary place which combines sub-tropical planting and an evolving programme of contemporary artwork by internationally renowned artists such as David Nash and James Turrell. The garden sits in a sheltered valley overlooking St Michael’s Mount – a view we will enjoy over a relaxing lunch at the Tremenheere Kitchen.
We will return to St Ives for the afternoon to visit the Leach Pottery, which was founded in 1920 by the Father of Studio Pottery, Bernard Leach. The site is still a working pottery with several makers, and there will be the chance to try some potting ourselves in a group workshop. Supper in a restaurant tucked in the cliffs of Porthgwidden bay, one of St Ives’ best kept secrets.
Thursday 6th June
In the morning we will travel to Lamorna, a small village set in the belly of a lush valley which opens out into a cove. Lamorna, with its tumbling stream and twisting trees has captured the imaginations of artists for centuries, and was home to several artist colonies in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth centuries. We will visit the ancient burial ground of Tregiffian and the mysterious stone circle of Merry Maidens which inspired the work of surrealists in Cornwall. We will then make the short drive to Penzance for a visit to Penlee House, a gallery dedicated to the Newlyn School and Lamorna artists.
After a delicious lunch we will visit the Morrab Library. Established in 1818, this independent library sits at the heart of Morrab gardens and overlooks the sea, making it a truly peaceful haven. From there we will set off on a gentle walk along the seafront to Newlyn Gallery. The gallery offers a wide and varied exhibition programme of contemporary art across all media. We will then meet our coach to take us back to St Ives for supper.
Friday 7th June
On our final morning we will celebrate our time together with a boat trip along the Helford River and up Frenchman’s Creek, the setting of Daphne Du Maurier’s famous novel. We will then travel to the nearby and magnificent Trebah Gardens, where 26 acres of subtropical planting stretches across the valley garden. Early Summer will be the perfect time to see the Giant Gunnera as well as the Tulip Tree, Liriodendron tulipifera, which should be in flower. There is a lovely restaurant at the garden where will have some lunch before returning to our hotel to end our trip.
The trip will be led by Tina Corri and Francesca Ramsay. Tina is an Arts and Learning Consultant for museums, galleries and arts organisations including the National Portrait Gallery, Royal Opera House and Art Explora, and has worked for Tate Britain. Francesca has worked for AHA for many years and has recently published two books, one on the 20th century British artist Wilfred Avery and ‘ PINCH ME: Trying to Feel Real in 21st Century’.
We will stay at St Ives Harbour Hotel, an elegant Victorian seaside retreat. The hotel is ideally located overlooking Porthminster beach and just a ten minute stroll from the centre of town. There is also a spa and swimming pool for those who wish to soothe the body and mind.
We will meet at the St Ives Harbout hotel on Monday at 15.00 and we will finish the course at the hotel at 15.00. Once everyone has submitted their travel plans we can organise shared taxis if suitable.
During the trip we will travel in comfort in a private coach with air-conditioning. There will also be a boat trip.
There is quite a bit of walking on this trip, as well as uneven cobbles and steep slopes. As is the case for all our courses, there is a lot of standing while we discuss the works we are looking at.
Dinner is by no means compulsory, but we book a table for the group each night at different restaurants and divide the bill equally between everyone. The bill will be adjusted for those who have not had wine or beer.
The fees are £2180 which includes accommodation and breakfast, all lunches, transport when connected with teaching, entrance fees, tuition, private boat trip, pottery workshop, reading lists and local advice. The single occupancy supplement is £180 (double room for single use). Not included are all suppers and travel insurance. The group will not exceed 16 people and we will divide in to two smaller groups wherever possible.
Please complete the online registration form, having read our terms and conditions and pay a deposit of £600 per person via bank transfer.
If you have any queries please email charlie@arthistoryabroad or call 01379 871800 (302)
NB you must buy your own train tickets.