the website of Art Historian
who specialises in St Ives art, the Newlyn School
and the other Cornish art colonies of
Lamorna, Polperro and Falmouth in the period prior to 1950
David's principal speciality is representational art in St Ives and he has published eight books on the subject, of which five have been major, ground-breaking surveys of St Ives art, namely
St Ives Art pre-1890 - The Dawn of the Colony
Pioneers of St Ives Art at Home and Abroad 1889-1914
Sea Change - Fine and Decorative Art in St Ives 1914-1930
Creating A Splash - The St Ives Society of Artists 1927-1952
St Ives (1860-1930) - The Artists and the Community - A Social History
Since 2000, David has also curated numerous exhibitions on Cornish art for Tate St Ives, Penlee House Gallery and Museum, Penzance, Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro, Nottingham Castle Museum, Worcester Art Gallery, Cheltenham Art Gallery and various other Art Galleries around the country.
David has also written for the Dictionary of National Biography articles on William Titcomb and ‘St Ives colony artists 1885-1914’. Furthermore, in 2012, he advised on, and appeared in, a film for Finnish and Swedish television on the Finnish artist, Helene Schjerfbeck, who visited St Ives on two occasions in the late 1880s.
David's most recent project has been research into the history of Polperro as an art centre, leading to the publication in March 2021 of the two volume Polperro - Cornwall's Forgotten Art Centre, and an exhibition on the subject at Falmouth Art Gallery that runs from 2nd April to 18th June 2022. For more details, see the Art in Polperro page.
David is also Editor of The Flagstaff, the magazine of the Lamorna Society, which promotes and celebrates the artists and writers who have been inspired by the beauty of the Lamorna Valley in West Cornwall. Considerable interest has been aroused recently in this colony by the book/exhibition/film Summer in February. David's current project is an extensive history of the Lamorna colony to be entitled Lamorna - An Artistic, Social and Literary History. It is hoped that this will be published in late 2022 / early 2023 and that an exhibition on the subject will be held at Penlee House Gallery, Penzance during 2023.
For forthcoming exhibitions with which David is involved, see Cornish Art Exhibitions page.
Thanks for your interest.