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Visit Penlee House & Museum

Penlee House is a Gallery, Museum, Cafe and Shop. Situated within Penlee Park, a space to reflect and great for family visits.

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A space for exhibitions & events

Alongside our Exhibition programme we run a variety of community events and workshops. The Newlyn School and Social history galleries change often. Find out what’s on.

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A space to learn

Penlee House is committed to lifelong learning. We run workshops for all age groups and offer a school workshop programme.

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A space for all

Built in 1865, as the home of the Branwell family. Penlee House is home to many paintings by members of the Newlyn School. It is also home to the Penzance Natural History and Antiquarian Society collection.

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You can search and browse our collections online. We also have a section dedicated to the Newlyn School.

Forbes, Stanhope

Dubbed ‘the father of the Newlyn School’, Forbes’s painting ‘A Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach’, 1885, brought national recognition to the art colony and the school of painting he founded with his wife Elizabeth kept Newlyn at the forefront of British art well into the 20th century.

Biography

Stanhope Forbes – 1857 – 1947

In 1881, Forbes went to Brittany with fellow artist La Thangue. His time in France brought him into contact with the new ‘plein air’ painters, which was to influence his style dramatically.

He arrived in Newlyn in 1884 and soon became a leading figure in the growing colony of artists. His national reputation was established with the acceptance of his ‘A Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach’ in 1885 at the Royal Academy, London (now owned by Plymouth City Art Gallery) and the purchase of The Health of the Bride in 1889 by Henry Tate, now at Tate Britain, London.

As the number of artists in Newlyn dwindled, Stanhope and his wife Elizabeth Forbes founded their School of Painting in 1899. This was to attract a whole new generation of artists to the area, including Ernest Procter and his future wife Doris ‘Dod’ Shaw.

Throughout his life, Forbes was a familiar and popular figure in West Cornwall. Well into the 1930s, he was still often to be seen painting ‘en plein air’, surrounded by curious local children. He died in 1947, a few months short of his ninetieth birthday.

Portfolio

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Visit Us

Penlee House is a beautiful art gallery and museum, set within sub-tropical gardens, with a great café.

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Exhibitions

Our vibrant exhibition programme celebrates the nationally important art and history of West Cornwall.

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Learning

From school visits to family activities, talks and walks, there are plenty of learning opportunities at Penlee House.

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Our Café

Enjoy a delicious lunch or coffee at the Orangery Café, with its sunny terrace overlooking the park.

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