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“Better than the Tate”

The Penwith Gallery
Ranked #20 of 68 things to do in St Ives
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: The Penwith Gallery is the home of the Penwith Society of Arts in Cornwall. The gallery, formerly a pilchard packing factory, has a remarkable complex of buildings, including three public galleries, sculpture area and archive. This allows for a varied and interesting series of changing exhibitions throughout the year. The society was founded in 1949 by Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Peter Lanyon, Bernard Leach, Sven Berlin and Wilhelmina Barns– Graham, amongst others. Later members have included Patrick Heron, Terry Frost and Henry Moore (honorary member). This association with so many progressive and influential artists has given the Penwith Society a unique place in British art history. Today the society continues to play a central role in the thriving and vibrant St. Ives art community, exhibiting contemporary art from Cornwall and beyond.
Reviewed 9 January 2015

So much better than the Tate. More variety, more exhibits, more friendly and free too. You could also walk away with the art, if you have a bit of money.

Thank Andrew G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"on display"
in 9 reviews
"free entry"
in 4 reviews
"great space"
in 3 reviews
"including paintings"
in 2 reviews
"excellent exhibition"
in 2 reviews
"local art"
in 3 reviews
"don't waste your money"
in 2 reviews
"take your time"
in 2 reviews
"for sale"
in 2 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 2 reviews
"barbara hepworth"
in 3 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 2 reviews
"prints"
in 5 reviews
"society"
in 3 reviews
"wilhelmina"
in 2 reviews
"cornish"
in 5 reviews
"pottery"
in 8 reviews
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54 - 58 of 59 reviews

Reviewed 23 October 2014

This is a fantastic space with a wide range of high quality work including paintings, prints, sculpture, pottery and photography. Extremely helpful and knowledgeable staff and volunteers made our visit a complete delight. We shall definitely be back soon.

Thank Sue W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2014

Nice gallery, much larger than it seems from without. Three main spaces, the largest has a variety of artists presented on the walls, with a decent selection of ceramics throughout the centre of the room, including a nice Hepworth piece. The secondary space seems use to showcase a single artist, and was well hung on our visit - impressive. The third space is dark and poorly arranged with Central glass cases, shame. The gallery us better lit than I'd anticipated, and capably staffed. Shame the glass canopy is so dirty, but that's life by the sea I suppose.

The quality of work on show and sale here shames most other St Ives galleries, you should pop in after a visit to the Tate as it's very close by.

Thank Pumbletuke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2014

Didn't expect such a relatively expansive place in little old St Ives! What a fab gallery and really like a lot of the artwork too. Didn't buy though - maybe next time!

Thank 212RosieC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 March 2014

Came down from Devon to the opening of the spring show last night. The gallery looks superb! The walls all pristine white, fantastic works of art, mostly in an abstract style in keeping with the gallery's long tradition. The staff were all friendly and kind. Well organised, well lit. Looks small from the outside but once you're in it's huge, a real tardis.
A delight of a gallery and an absolute must if you are an art fan! Only a stones throw from the Tate gallery and glorious Porthmeor beach. All that and it's free entry!
Can't wait to visit again
Karen, Bideford North Devon

1  Thank Shirley R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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