Ben Nicholson’s Cornwall

25 thoughts on “Ben Nicholson’s Cornwall”

  1. Thank you for your blog. I’m really enjoying it.
    As a British expat of nearly two decades, now living on the west coast of America, I’m finding your writing hugely informative about the political and art goings on back at home. I follow the news and keep in touch with friends and family, of course, but I haven’t found anything of this depth yet.

    I came to it via a BBC photo essay about the Cornwall painters, then a Google search of their work led me to your blog.

    I look forward to future observations!


    1. I’m pretty sure it’s a private residence, so unfortunately no. But if you visit Zennor and leave by the road to St Ives, after about ¾mile as the road climbs
      towards the summit, Eagle’s Nest is the house at the summit on the seaward side:,+St+Ives,+United+Kingdom&ll=50.193906,-5.549989&spn=0.001207,0.002411&z=19&layer=c&cbll=50.193836,-5.550227&panoid=6PmpZNG2HwMSZ4yGbENGlQ&cbp=12,350.34,,0,20.56

  2. It was an interesting BBC programme-and had a lot to say about Lanyon too-an exhibition of his work is on at Tate St Ives now, finishing Jan 23rd-well worth a visit.
    I stayed at Eagles Nest ten years ago when part of the complex,the old Workhouse, used to be let for painting holidays.Wonderful views from that height of the ancient field systems and walls, leading to a huge expanse of sea. No longer to let, sadly, but Heron’s daughter said that she and her husband were now living at Eagles Nest which is great! Anyone can get the feel of Heron’s studio on Porthmeor beach at the moment as it is in use by the St Ives School of Painting for short courses, while their own studio is restored.
    Really loved your quotes from Neve’s Unquiet Landscape-a fantastic read and one that I have never heard mentioned by anyone else before. Thanks for this, and all the other fascinating and enriching material you share with us, Gerry!

  3. John – I’m glad you enjoy the blog – although I write it for myself, as a record of things I’ve done, it’s good to know it has something of interest to others as well. Just click on the ‘Posts’ link at top right to subscribe to the RSS feed.

  4. Gerry, Thanks for this post. I love seeing all the Nicholson Cornwall images. Most of them are not reproduced in the Nicholson books that I have. I have been a big fan of Nicholson for decades and am planning a trip to Cornwall next fall. Is there anything Nicholsonian to be found in St. Ives besides the views?

    1. Thanks for your generous remarks, Daniel. There’s a list of Ben Nicholson works held in the Tate collection here – – but whether any would be on display in Tate St Ives is a matter of chance. Best to watch out for them mounting a dedicated exhibition – they did one in 2008 that included a lot of his landscapes. You can peruse it here: Unless you’re very lucky, you’d be more likely to encounter Nicholson in London (at Tate Britain). Tate St Ives website is here: They have a useful resource on the history of art in St Ives here: Cornwall is a wonderful place to visit – especially the very southwest beyond St Ives (called West Penwith) – rugged moors, cliffs, sheltered coves with golden sands. Marvellous. We had a lovely short break in northern Cornwall in September 2010, blessed with good weather, that I blogged starting here:

      1. Thanks, Gerry. I’ll check out your links. We saw some wonderful Nicholson’s at Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge last year. Have you been there? It’s an incredible little museum. They have quite a few paintings by Wallis and almost all the Gaudier Breszka’s in existence.

    1. HI Gerry,
      That Mondrian/ Nicholson show sounds wonderful. Two of my all time favorite artists. I wish I could see it, but I’m in San Francisco. Where do you live?
      You will love Kettle’s Yard. I’ve never been to a museum quite like it before. It’s very intimate. It’s more like you’re in someone’s home than a museum (in fact you are actually in someone’s home. That someone just happens to have been an amazing collector) The staff is made up entirely of old lady volunteers who are passionate about the museum.
      If you’re at all interested in seeing who I am, check out the film “We Were Here” that will be on BBC 4 this coming Monday. It’s a powerful and very made film.

      1. Hi Daniel I am enormously grateful to you for alerting me to ‘We Were Here’. I would have missed it otherwise, because, as I’ve just said in my new post, it came unheralded by the BBC or my newspaper, The Guardian (which I would have expected to pick up on it). I believe it is one of the finest documentaries in the humanist tradition that I have ever seen. The rest is in my post. But I don’t know how you did it, maintaining your composure through the interview and recalling those terrible experiences. But the film is both elegiac and a hymn to love and compassion. I live in Liverpool, and many of my posts testify to my love for this city to which I came as a student 40-odd years ago and have not left since. We’re going on a short break to London week after next, so I hope to see the Mondrian/Nicholson exhibition. Watch out for it on the blog. Best wishes Gerry

      2. Gerry,
        Thanks for the beautifully written blog. I hope you have a lot of followers. This film is so important for so many reasons. We were so disappointed that it didn’t get nominated for an Oscar. It came close, but not in the final five. A nomination would have opened the film up to a much larger audience. Ah, well. Hollywood. Not really surprising when you look at what kind of movies they do honor.. If you wouldn’t mind going to the FB page of “We Were Here” and posting a link to your blog, I’m sure the films FB followers would love to read it.
        Have a great time in London and I’ll look forward to a blog about the Mondrian/Nicholson exhibition.

      3. Thanks for your kind remarks, Daniel. The film certainly did deserve prizes – whether at Sundance or the Oscars (I should mention, for those happening by here, that this conversation relatesto my post about ‘We Were Here’:

  5. Best info yet! Have been looking for more on Ben Nicholson, on and off for a few years now. This has been enlightening, Thanks!

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