Art in Cornwall

Michael Bird

Art in Cornwall cover imageWhy does Cornwall have such a strong, longstanding and, on the face of it, unlikely association with art and artists? Art in Cornwall gives a lively and authoritative introduction to the subject, guiding us through diverse landscapes and the art associated with them. It provides a historical overview, from Turner’s visit in the 1800s to the present day.  Themes include: Cornwall in the Romantic vision of landscape; the Victorian development of ‘mythical’ Cornwall as a tourist destination; the search for rustic authenticity and the early art colonies in Newlyn and St Ives; Cornwall’s attraction for modernist artists, and the different visions of landscape in modern art after the Second World War – a visual legacy continuing into the present day.

You can use Google Book Search to look inside this book here.

Michael Bird is a writer and art historian. He is the author of The St Ives Artists: A Biography of Place and Time, 100 Ideas that Changed Art,  books on modern British artists Sandra Blow, Lynn Chadwick, George Fullard and Bryan Wynter, and a bestselling history of art for children, Vincent’s Starry Night and Other Stories. He is a regular contributor to arts programmes on BBC Radio.

Art in Cornwall is published in our Pocket Cornwall series.

  • Turner to Tate: A Short History
  • Westwards from the Tamar
  • Penzance and Newlyn to the Isles of Scilly
  • St Just to St Ives, across the Penwith Moors
  • St Ives and the North Coast
  • Index of Artists
  • Public Collections

ISBN 9780906720752
1st edition
112 pages
60 colour + 2 b/w reproductions; 3 colour + 7 b/w photographs
150 x 153 mm

‘perfect introduction to painting on the peninsula’ (This is South Devon, 28.04.12)

‘fabulous… Michael’s writing… really invites you on a journey that’s so inclusive and not gobbledy art speak!’ (Louise McClary, artist, 26.04.12)

‘To tell the story of art in Cornwall within the framework of [the] Pocket Cornwall series must have seemed a daunting task, but it is one which author and art historian Michael Bird is not only well qualified to do but also one he does extremely well. … Beginning with its colourful cover of Anthony Frost’s The Colour of Sound, the book includes many reproductions of paintings interspersed by its author’s authoritative and informed text.’ (Western Morning News, 30.04.12)

‘Compact survey of county’s artists is dazzling achievement… this book has it all… incredibly good value at £6.95 and should be on the bookshelf of all those with an interest in the art and artists of Cornwall.’ (The Cornishman, 07.06.12)

‘a lively, accessible and beautifully illustrated introduction to the subject’ (Cornwall Today, July 2012)

‘Turner and many artists and their connection to Cornwall are explored by art historian Michael Bird … includes comment on and illustrations of many …  artists … proof positive that Cornwall has been and still is an artistic anchor for so many.’ (Tavistock Times Gazette, 30.08.12)

‘this beautifully illustrated book’ (Newlyn School of Art Newsletter, September 2012)

‘another top-drawer presentation which we have come to accept as the norm from Alison Hodge… should find a place on the shelves of everyone who is interested in art and artists in Cornwall’ (Old Cornwall, vol XIV, no. 8, Spring 2013)

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