David Tovey was born in 1953 and was educated at his father's preparatory school, Tockington Manor, near Bristol and at Clifton College, Bristol, before reading Jurisprudence at Pembroke
After twenty years as a Solicitor, he returned to University to read History Of Art at The University Of Warwick. He is now an independent art historian, specialising in Cornish art.
His particular interest in St Ives art derives from the fact that his great-grandfather, William Titcomb, was one of the early settlers in the colony. However, he also has an extensive knowledge of artists of the Newlyn School and other artists working in the Cornish art colonies at Lamorna, Polperro and Falmouth in the years prior to 1950.
Since 2000, David has written a number of highly acclaimed books on Cornish art (see St Ives Art Books) and has curated, or assisted with the curatorship of, several exhibitions on behalf of Tate St Ives, Penlee House Gallery & Museum, Penzance, Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro, Cheltenham Art Gallery and Worcester Art Gallery (see Cornish Art Exhibitions). He is now recognised as the leading authority on early St Ives art. As he has decided not to publish any more books on St Ives art, he is making his latest research available free in his newsletter, The Siren (see Free St Ives Art Newsletter).
David is also the Editor of The Flagstaff, the magazine of the Lamorna Society, which is published twice yearly in June and December. The Society, which was formed in 1997, promotes appreciation of the Lamorna Valley, West Cornwall, and the many artists and writers who have been inspired by its beauty.
His current project is a History of art in Polperro, with an exhibition and two books planned for 2021 - Polperro - Cornwall's Forgotten Art Centre - see Art in Polperro page.
David lectures widely on Cornish representational art, particularly to members of The Arts Society (formerly NADFAS) and to Friends organisations of Public Art Galleries (see Cornish Art Lectures).