Art Galleries in Cornwall

Art Galleries in Cornwall

For hundreds of years, Cornwall has been a beacon for artists, wordsmiths and creatives thanks to its unique light, landscapes, and lore. Providing inspiration at every turn, it has been the muse of many of the UK’s greatest names and today continues to fuel creativity in all its forms. Needless to say, if you are looking to enjoy the products of Cornwall’s natural beauty and artistic influence, you will be spoilt for choice. From its northernmost reaches to its southernmost tip, the county is peppered with brilliant art galleries showcasing incredible works, from landscape paintings to expressionist sculptures.

From award-winning Cornish favourites to globally-renowned venues, we’ve picked out some of the best art galleries in Cornwall for you to enjoy.

The Jackson Foundation, St Just

Inside the Jackson Foundation in St Just, one of the top art galleries in Cornwall

The Jackson Foundation is a multi-award winning, carbon-negative art space set up by West Country artist Kurt Jackson and his wife Caroline. Developed as part of a unique and ambitious project championing both art and the natural world, its cavernous, industrial frame has been repurposed into an eco-friendly, sustainable gallery that runs on green energy. With exhibitions throughout the year, the gallery works with a range of charities and presents Jackon’s artistic reflections on the natural world through painting, poetry, sculpture, installation, and film.  

Cornish Masters, St Ives

Paintings lining the walls of Cornish Master gallery in St Ives

An inspiring fine arts exhibition nestled in a historic building on St Ives’ high street, Cornish Masters showcases the best of Cornish art from the last century and beyond. Adorning its walls, masterpieces from the Newlyn School to the St Ives Modernists and more can be admired, providing a fascinating insight into the minds and talent of some of the county’s greatest painters. Peruse the available artworks to select a new centrepiece for your wall or simply marvel at the curated displays of nineteenth and twentieth century creativity transposed on canvas for blissful moments of quietude.

Newlyn Art Gallery, Newlyn

Two people looking at an abstract painting at the Newlyn Art Gallery in Newyln

First opened in 1895, Newlyn Art Gallery is one of the most well-known art galleries in the South West. Unveiling contemporary art for over 125 years, the ethos at the gallery is founded on the belief that art can change people’s lives for the better, and it is this sentiment that is present throughout the gallery’s work today. From providing a space for artists to promote their works to offering art fans an innovative space for reflection, it is somewhere for all generations to enjoy. As well as its exhibitions, Newlyn Art Gallery and Café also hosts events and workshops throughout the year for a really immersive experience. 

The Exchange, Penzance

The exterior of the Exchange in Penzance brightly illuminated by multi-coloured lights

Sister gallery to Newlyn Art Gallery, the Exchange in Penzance is a modern art gallery set within a former telephone exchange. Opened in 2007, it flourishes a wide range of contemporary artworks by local, national and international artists. With permanent installations complemented by an ever-updated schedule of events and installations, this bright, creative space encourages interaction and contemplation by all. Though some exhibitions are off-limits, the gallery also welcomes well-behaved dogs in most of its spaces so it’s worth getting in touch if you have a four-legged friend.

The Poly, Falmouth

Paintings and ornaments on display at the Poly in Falmouth

Founded in 1833, the Poly is a brilliant arts and music venue in the middle of Falmouth town, home to a cinema, art gallery, pottery and studio and more. Situated within a historic building, this space is dedicated to celebrating Cornish art, history and learning through a fascinating cultural programme. Whether you’re interested in its workshops and lecturers or exhibitions and live events, head on over to discover what’s on. The Poly’s exhibitions are particularly worth perusing, often led by local artists. 

The Tate, St Ives

Blue skies and the outer walls of the Tate St Ives gallery, one of the most famous art galleries in Cornwall

One of Europe’s best-known art galleries for contemporary art is the award-winning Tate St Ives. Set above the stunning sandy swathes of Porthmeor beach in St Ives, this world-famous institution is set within one of the most famous hubs for artists in the world – a quintessential Cornish fishing village that has inspired artists since the days of JMW Turner. Head over and enjoy the architecture of this former gasworks before delving into its galleries, absorbing yourself in its collections of modern art and its incredible views over the Atlantic Ocean.

Circle Contemporary Gallery, Wadebridge

Paintings and artwork on display at the Circle Contemporary Gallery in Wadebridge, North Cornwall

For art pieces created by emerging and established artists from all over the world, head to Circle Contemporary Gallery on the Atlantic Highway in North Cornwall. A cool and sophisticated gallery covering two storeys, Circle and its exhibitions are shaped by its own “tribe of artists and artisans” who have found inspiration in nature. Representing artists from several continents, its eclectic community all shares a passion for country and coast, and celebrates natural landscapes through painting, photography, ceramics, drawing and more.

Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, St Ives

Sculptures in the sunny floral gardens of Barbara Hepworth Museum in St Ives

The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden occupies the former home of one of the most important sculptors of the 20th Century. An English artist and sculptor, Dame Jocelyn Barbara Hepworth produced some of her most famous works during her years in St Ives – and it’s here at Trewyn Studios that you can enjoy a remarkable insight into those works and her life. Discover the magic that Barbara found at Trewyn and explore the gardens and her studio at the museum, seeing her statues, sculptures and tools – many of which are still in their original positions.

Penlee House Gallery and Museum, Penzance

Outside of the Penlee House Gallery and Museum in Penzance on a sunny day

A gallery, museum, café and shop nestled within subtropical gardens, Penlee House is a brilliant family-friendly attraction in West Cornwall. Preserving the history and culture of the county, the origins of the museum itself date back to 1839, before it opened as a museum and art gallery in 1949. Today, it provides a great chance to uncover the works of the artists of the Newlyn School and Lamorna, as well as seeing many amazing other local relics, from archaeological finds to by-gone fashion. To refuel, drinks, homemade cakes and light lunches await in the onsite licensed café, The Orangery.

Trelissick Gallery, Truro

Arts and crafts inside Trelissick Gallery at Trelissick Estate

Trelissick Gallery was opened as part of a new partnership between the Cornwall Crafts Association and the National Trust. Set within a 19th Century barn in the heart of Trelissick’s 400-acre estate next to the Carrick Roads and close to Truro, this lovely gallery showcases seasonally-updated exhibitions across a range of mediums, from textiles to glass. Once you’ve visited the gallery, you also have the unique advantage of access to Trelissick’s gardens and extensive dog-friendly parkland and woodland too. In summer, Trelissick House and its private art collections are also open, with refreshments available in its café.

Leach Pottery, St Ives

A display about Pottery and People at the Leach Pottery gallery in St Ives

Leach Pottery in St Ives is a world-renowned centre for arts, protecting both the history and future of pottery through its dedicated displays, shop and multi-generational classes and courses. Naturally, if you’re aware of the pioneering British potter Bernard Leach, then a trip to this studio and gallery is a must. See the site’s 100-year-old pottery, clay room, throwing room, Japanese climbing kiln and exhibition spaces, including the Cube Gallery and the Entrance Gallery, and admire the works of contemporary potters and, of course, Leach himself.

Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, Penzance

Inside the light-filled gallery at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens with paintings and artworks on display

One of the best gardens in Cornwall for aesthetic inspiration of the natural and manmade kind, Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens in Penzance is a must-visit. Overlooking St Michael’s Mount, this superb attraction is home to an art gallery and sprawling subtropical gardens adorned with incredible sculptures. Featuring internationally-acclaimed sculptors (including five members of the Royal Academy of Arts), the exotic gardens offer endless inspiration, while its enclosed gallery celebrates artworks from both local and international artists.

Falmouth Art Gallery, Falmouth

Outside of Falmouth Art Gallery in Falmouth, one of the top art galleries in Cornwall

The Falmouth Art Gallery is a celebrated gallery housing one of the most significant art collections in the county, displaying works by major artists including Frank Brangwyn, Laura Knight, Alfred Munnings, Roland Penrose, Grace Gardner, Tacita Dean and more. As well as its permanent exhibitions, the gallery also has an exciting programme of temporary pieces, with loans from national galleries and Cornish artists alike. Wander the flag-lined, cobbled streets of Falmouth to arrive at this wonderful gallery and lose yourself to its visual masterpieces.

Penwith Gallery, St Ives

Inside the contemporary interiors of Penwith Gallery in St Ives, with paintings and sculptures on show

Playing a pivotal role in the thriving and colourful arts scene and community of St Ives, the Penwith Gallery is a magnet for arts aficionados. Home of the Penwith Society of Arts – founded by art giants including Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Peter Lanyon, Bernard Leach and Wilhelmina Barns-Graham – it occupies a unique place in Cornish and British cultural history. Today, this former pilchard factory is home to three public galleries, workshops, studios, a sculpture garden and more, and boasts an exciting line up of historical and contemporary exhibitions throughout the year.

North Coast Asylum, Newquay

Inside the bright and airy gallery of the North Coast Asylum in North Cornwall, a former Gothic chapel converted into an art studio and gallery

After gaining consent from the local council and English Heritage, approval was granted for the North Coast Asylum’s Grade II listed Gothic Chapel shell to be converted into a contemporary art space. Particularly exciting for fans of expressionist art and artistic exploration, this gallery focuses exclusively on emerging talent, highlighting work from Cornwall’s young artists, as well as talent from across the UK. From woodwork crafted with ethically-sourced wood species to vibrant expressionist paintings, there is a huge range of captivating and thought-provoking original works to see here.

Feeling inspired to lose yourself to Cornwall's galleries? Check out our luxury cottages in Cornwall here

Sign up to receive our boutique stories…

Stay connected with retreat magic and be the first to know about our new additions. We promise to only fill your inbox with the dreamiest staycation stories and luxury travel moments.