Situated on the site of a former gas works, the gallery stands high above magnificent Porthmeor Beach. In recognition of the international importance of st ives and the surrounding area in the art world, 1993 saw the opening of the Tate Gallery, st ives by H.R.H. Prince Charles. Perhaps the flagship of Cornish Art, this imposing building, with its spectacular stained glass window by acclaimed painter Patrick Heron, has won awards for architectural design. From here, in 1887, the Finnish master Helene Schjerfbeck painted her classic 'A View of st ives'. The building, a work of art in itself, was designed by award winning architects Eldred Evans and David Shalev.
1925 - Alfred Wallis, an old widowed fisherman began to paint to relieve his loneliness. Untutored and using whatever materials came to hand, Wallis never regarded himself as a 'proper artist'. He painted 'What used to be from mem'ry' and revealed a world where boats had souls and giant fish symbolised the bountiful sea.
1928 - Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood discovered the old man's na´ve paintings and the avant-garde of British Art had found a unique inspiration for their own contribution to 20th century 'modern art'. The story that followed is remarkable by any standard and is celebrated in the new Tate.
From the primitive paintings of Alfred Wallis to the high abstraction of Nicholson and Hepworth through the turbulent landscapes and expressionism of Peter Lanyon to the big colour experience of Patrick Heron (both on canvas and in stained glass!) The Tate's st ives Collection of Paintings and Sculptures can be enjoyed in their place of origin and among the influences of light, sea and landscape that inspired the great works. The ethos of Tate Gallery st ives is an immaculate concept, achieved in the great depths of an economic recession.
This is an international standard gallery and houses a rotating display selected from the Tate Gallery's collection of around 300 works of art produced by the st ives School of Artists in the late 1800's and throughout this century. Artists such as Ben Nicholson, Christopher Wood, Alfred Wallis, Peter Lanyon, Patrick Heron, Sandra Blow and Terry Frost are all represented in the new gallery, as well as Dame Barbara Hepworth's sculpture and Bernard Leach's ceramics.
Facilities at the Tate include:
Cafe with panoramic views over the Bay
Baby Changing Facilities
Disabled Access and Facilities
Talks, tours, videos and sound guides for individual and group visitors.
An extensive education programme provides a rich educational source.