6 best galleries & museums in St Ives
From its origins as an important pilchard fishing village to its transformation in the 20s and 30s to a creative hub which attracted reams of artists, today St Ives boasts a rich cultural heritage and a wealth of artistic talent.
You can’t visit this picturesque seaside town without dipping your toes into the galleries and museums that tell its story. Here are six of the best.
1. Tate St Ives
Porthmeor Beach, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 1TG | www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-st-ives
Tate St Ives, situated above Porthmeor Beach, boasts a striking modern design. The curved white
concrete stands in contrast to the town’s predominantly quaint skyline. Inside, it is rich in art
connected with the area. With no permanent collection, it instead presents fascinating special exhibitions which change three times a year. Be sure to visit the cafe for spectacular views.
Opening times: 10.00-16.00* Everyday - Admission: £7.70 (concessions available)
*Tate St Ives is closed from 27 January – 16 May 2014 as work begins on the Phase 2 extension. A temporary Visitor Centre is open daily in Meadow Flats (next door to the gallery), from 10.00–16.30. Admission free.
2. The Leach Pottery – Studio and Museum
Higher Stennack, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 2HE | www.leachpottery.com
Founded in 1920 by Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada, Leach Pottery is one of the most influential
studios in the world. Inspiration was drawn from Japanese and Oriental sculpture, creating a unique
fusion of Eastern and Western ideas.
As well as boasting a working studio, the museum showcases an impressive collection of permanent
works plus an exhibition with changing displays.
Opening times: March – October: 10.00-17.00 Last admission 16.30. Sundays 11.00-16.00
November – February: 10.00-17.00 Last admission 16.30 (Monday to Saturday)
Admission: £4.50/£4.00 concessions (inc. over 60s) Accompanied under 18s free
3. Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden
Barnoon Hill, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 1AD | www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-st-ives/barbara-hepworth-museum
Run by the Tate St Ives, the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Garden offers a unique insight into the
life and work of one of Britain’s leading abstract artists of the 20th century. Once the artist’s studio,
today it houses a wonderful collection of bronze, stone and wood sculptures, along with paintings,
drawings and archive material.
Opening times: 27 January – 28 February 2014: 10.00–16.20 Last admission 16.00
1 March – 31 Oct 2014: 10.00–17.20 Last admission 17.00
Admission: £6.60/£4.40 concessions (without donation £6/£4)
4. St Ives Society of Artists
Norway Square, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 1NA | www.stisa.co.uk
Founded by marine artist George Fagan Bradshaw in 1927, the St Ives Society of Artists was set up to
ensure artistic standards in the community. Continuing to this day, the Society celebrates creative
excellence. The fabulous mix of contemporary art, showcased in a converted church, is either invited
or chosen by guest curators.
The 'Mariners Gallery', in the former crypt, is often rented to individual artists.
Opening times: March – early January: 10.00-17.30. Sundays 14.30-17.30 (April to October)
5. New Millennium Gallery
Street an Pol, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 2DS | www.millenniumgallery.co.uk
Set over three floors, the New Millennium is Cornwall’s leading independent gallery. Boasting a
quality collection, it showcases a wide range of contemporary art and ceramics from established and
up and coming artists. It frequently stages one-man shows and the exhibitions are constantly
Opening times: Year round: 10.00-17.00 (Monday to Saturday)
6. St Ives Museum
Wheal Dream, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 1PR, England | www.museumsincornwall.org.uk/St-Ives-Museum/Cornwall-Museums/
Located in the old fishing community of Downlong, the St Ives Museum has had many guises – from
pilchard curing cellar to chapel and cinema. Today, this unassuming treasure trove of local history
offers some unique insights into life by the sea.
From old photos to tales of shipwrecks, it’s a great way to understand the story of the town.
Opening times: Monday before Easter – end of October: 10.00-17.00 (Monday to Friday). Saturday 10.00-16.00
Admission: £2.00 Adults / 50p Under 18s