Lovers of Newlyn School paintings have been in for a real treat at the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro this year, with an exhibition, Amongst Heroes: the artist in working Cornwall, including a spectacular Stanhope Forbes painting, which has never been exhibited publicly in Cornwall before now.
The huge Stanhope Forbes painting, The Quarry Team, which has been lent to the museum by a private collector through the Newlyn School Gallery, was recognized by Forbes himself as one of the most significant paintings of his career.
Exhibition volunteer, Rosalind Evans, said: “On entering the gallery people are immediately struck by this amazing painting, which has an extraordinary history. When it was first exhibited, it was regarded as such an important painting that it was attacked by suffragette, Gwendoline Cook, under her suffragette alias of Ethel Cox, to raise awareness of their plight.
"She stabbed it through with her umbrella and it has only recently been conserved by its current owners, so visitors appreciate how lucky they are to have this opportunity to see it here, in Truro.”
Other works by Forbes include Against Regatta Day, which is from the Museum’s own collection and Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach (on loan from Plymouth City Council Museums & Archives). One visitor to the exhibition mentioned how lovely it was to see her great-grandmother featured in this painting. Volunteers working in the exhibition have also been struck by the fact that visitors recognise the same models, used by different artists throughout the exhibition.
The Museum has a team of volunteers working in the exhibition, but are looking for more to help this summer. If you are interested, please contact Maggie Greenall at the Museum on 01872 272205 extension 245 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The exhibition includes a range of family activities, with dressing up as characters in the paintings in the Land gallery, and a creative table in the Sea gallery. During the summer holidays there will be special free activities every Tuesday and Thursday. For more information www.royalcornwallmuseum.org.uk/exhibitions/family-events.htm or call 01872 272205.
Full details about the exhibition are available from www.royalcornwallmuseum.org.uk or by calling 01872 272205. ‘Amongst Heroes: the artist in working Cornwall’ will be on display at the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro until the 4th September 2014. Museum opening hours are 10am to 4.45pm Monday to Saturday (except Bank Holidays). Admission is free to anyone aged 18 or under, RIC members, National Art Pass and Museums Association members. Adult admission is £4.50 for an annual pass – pay once, visit all year.