Caricature of Julius Olsson as a siren - the logo of The Siren
Caricature of Julius Olsson as a siren - the logo of The Siren

St Ives Art  - Latest Research & Newsletter



The Siren












compiled by David Tovey



The Siren - Origins and Objectives


The principal purpose of The Siren is to provide an enjoyable read. I find the ever-evolving story of St Ives art ridiculously exciting and I hope to convey to you some of that enthusiasm.


I started the Newsletter as a means of bringing my latest research to the attention of those who are interested in St Ives representational art. Some people seem to be amazed that, having written five major surveys of the colony, there is still more to say, but new, fascinating information is always coming to light, particularly as my research covers both artistic and social historical aspects of the colony. Accordingly, features in the Newsletter will not be confined to the most successful artists, but will also attempt to throw new light not only on lesser known artists but also on members of the local community who worked with the artists and did so much to ensure the long-term success of the colony.


I have a particular interest in highlighting that St Ives hosted an international community of artists and wielded an international influence, and so foreign artists will feature prominently as well.


In the past, St Ives representational art has suffered the most appalling neglect and some of the accounts that were written were based on pure myth, but these have been repeated so often that they have acquired a provenance that no amount of reasoned argument can seem to refute. However, I hope that, eventually, the true story of St Ives art, which, incidentally, is far more extraordinary than the myths, will become more widely known, and that this Newsletter will play a key role in dissembling this story.


I also hope that, with increased knowledge and appreciation of the achievements of the early colonists, pressure will grow for change, as it beggars belief that it is currently impossible to put on an exhibition of St Ives representational art in St Ives, and that most visitors to the town come away having failed to see a single example of representational art from the past.  St Ives is Britain’s premier art colony, and the failure to exploit the full extent of its rich heritage to both a national and international audience is such a wasted opportunity. The people of St Ives, and all lovers of Cornish art, need to become far more vocal. The Siren, therefore, is trying to make a bit of noise - alluring, hopefully, to those who appreciate representational art, but, occasionally, discordant to those who currently shape or should be shaping the public’s perception of St Ives art.


Originally, this newsletter was only available via e-mail but I have now uploaded the pdfs so that you can read them by clicking on the relevant Issue No in red below. 


If you would like to be alerted as to when new Issues of The Siren have been uploaded, just send me an e-mail at


Issue No 1 (24 pages) is available from June 2013, with features on


Artists:  Louis Grier, Oswald Sickert, Otto Scholderer, Frederick Parr, Humphry Repton, Napier Hemy, Edwin Ellis, Frank Frederick, etc


Writers: Cyril Ranger-Gull, Charles Marriott


Locals:   Billy Baragwanath, Sam Rogers, The Ranee Margaret of Sarawak






Issue No 2 (22 pages) is available from October 2013, with features on


Artists: Eardley Blomefield, Henry Massey, John Mogford, Sydney Lee, Harry Rountree (NZ) and H.G.Fitzherbert (NZ)



Locals: Francis Wheeler, Edward Hain Jnr



Issue No 3 (26 pages) (a special issue on the St Ives Schools of Landscape and Marine Painting, with a strong antipodean bias) is available from February 2014, with features on



Artists: Will Ashton, Domenico Barnett, Hugh Blackden, Charles Bryant, Samuel Hales, Richard Hayley Lever, Mabel Luck and the mythical Marion Luck, Rose Lowcay, Franklin White.



Issue No 4 (26 pages) (a special issue on St Ives Women Artists) is available from June 2014, with features on the artists



Dorothy Robinson, Laura Knight, Jennie Moore, Marion Grace Hocken, Violet Digby, the Swede Emma Lowstadt Chadwick, the New Zealanders, Frances Hodgkins, Margaret Stoddart and Edith Collier, and the Americans Helen Stuart Weir and her mother, Nina Weir-Lewis. 



Issue No 5 (22 pages) (a special issue on Pre-1914 St Ives art market news), is available from October 2014,

with features on the artists


Theodor Weber, Elizabeth Petrie, Walter Jenks Morgan, Thomas Hume, James McNeil Whistler, William Bartlett, John Clarkson Uren, Sir William Llewellyn, Charles Mottram, John William North, William Banks Fortescue, John Noble Barlow, Emily Carr, John Arnesby Brown, Carleton Theodore Chapman, George Gardner Symons, Frederick Mulhaupt, Lilian Montague, John Bromley, Herbert Babbage and Maud Winifred Sherwood



Issue No 6 (22 pages) is available from February 2015, with features on the artists


Will Osborn and Dorothy Worden, Elmer Schofield, George Oberteuffer, Frank Hutton Shill, Marianna Sloan, George Sherriff, Herbert Babbage and W.H.Y.Titcomb.



Issue No 7 pt 1   Issue 7 pt 2


(24 pages) (a special issue in two parts on George Turland Goosey) is available from June 2015.



Issue No 8 (16 pages) is available from October 2015, with features on the artists


Robert Borlase Smart, John Park, George Bradshaw, Alfred and Taka Cochrane and a major piece on Marion Hocken.



Issue No 9 (17 pages) is available from February 2016, with features on the artists


Clare White, Owen Merton (NZ), Samuel Phillips Jackson, Dorothy Robinson, Frank Emanuel, William Eadie, Francis Black, Tyra de Kleen (Swedish) and Job Nixon.  There is also a piece on the March 1891 Gale.



Issue No 10 (17 pages) (a special issue on David's exhibition on Marine Painting in Cornwall from Turner to Wallis) is available from June 2016, with features on the artists


Clarkson Stanfield, William Holman Hunt, Charles Parsons Knight, William Trost Richards, David James and Claus Bergen



Issue No 11 (19 pages) is available from October 2016,


This has a long feature on the Californian artist, Anna Althea Hills, in St Ives and Lamorna (1909-1911).  There are also pieces on her student colleagues Frances Tysoe Smith and Donald Lovett Cameron.  In addition there are notes about a number of paintings of Cornwall by American artists that have appeared on the market recently.



Issue No 12 (24 pages) is available from February 2017


A special issue devoted to the work of painter-printmaker, Raymond Ray-Jones



Issue No 13 (29 pages) is available from June 2017


This has a long article on Henry Snell's 1914 Summer Art Class in St Ives, featuring in particular the Cincinnati artists, Dixie Selden and Emma Mendenhall.  There are also pieces on Hugh Gresty and Michael Pirie's research into Harry Rountree, and a note on an early painting of St Ives by Charles Napier Hemy.



Issue No 14 (39 pages) is available from October 2017


This has a 30 plus page article on John Noble Barlow (1860-1917) as a centennial tribute and pieces on the visits to St Ives of American artists, Karl Schmidt and Irma Kohn.



Issue  No 15 (37 pages) is available from February 2018 


This has a long biography of Arthur Meade, a note on the Trevorrow family connected with the American artist, George Gardner Symons, and extracts from The Westminster Budget by Lewis Hind, with drawings by Norman Wilkinson.



Issue No 16 (32 pages) is available from June 2018


This looks at St Ives paintings that have appeared on the market recently and features, 

- from Sweden - Anders Zorn, 

- from Holland, Sigisbert Bosch Reitz - Hendrik Jan Wolter

- from America - Euphemia Charlton Fortune - Abbott Fuller Groves - Guy Wiggins - Sydney Laurence - Frederick Waugh - Frederick Mulhaupt - Dixie Selden 

- from Canada - F. McGillivray Knowles 

- from Australia - Penleigh Boyd - Rose Lowcay - Richard Hayley Lever 

- from Britain - Alfred Warne-Browne - John Noble Barlow - Hurst Balmford - C.W.Simpson - Ellis Silas - Medora Heather Bent - Hyman Segal

Issue 17 (25 pages) is available from January 2019


This features

                The visit of Jean Baptiste Henri Durand-Brager in 1862

Market News - British Artists  

George Wolfe - Ken Symonds - William Fortescue - John Park - Bernard Fleetwood-Walker - Julius Olsson -

                        William Bartlett - Charles Napier Hemy - William Eadie - William Evans Linton

Market News - Studio Depictions  

E.John Collyer - Arthur White - Marcella Smith - Douglas Pinder - Borlase Smart - Eleanor Rice - Mary Grylls -

                       George Pennington - Richard Chatterton - Agnes Drey - Laura Stanisland Roberts - Edmund Fuller

Market News - Foreign Artists  

Sir William Ashton - Abbott Fuller Graves - William Wendt

The early years of Robert Borlase Smart


Issue 18 (29 pages) is available from July 2019


This features Jack Coburn Witherop, John Lewis Stant, Lewis Mortimer, Edwin Byatt, Gordon Mitchell Forsyth, George Hammond Steel, William Titcomb, Arthur Beaumont, William Eadie, Louis Grier, John Park, Andrew Penney and Will Osborn.

Issue 19 (41 pages) is available from January 2020


This features articles on St Ives Visitor Lists from the 1880s  

                 Frances Hodgkins’ St Ives Friends Anne Falkner and Leslie Hervey

                 The opening party in Olsson’s Porthmeor Studio by Edmund Fuller

                 Alfred East’s correspondence with John Beatty of Pittsburgh

              featuring Louis Sargent

                St Ives Artists in ‘The Sphere’

              Charles Simpson - George Bradshaw - Hampden Minton - 

               Bernard Ninnes - Fred Bottomley

and works by Elias Bancroft - Charles Worsley - Edith Hudson - Arnesby Brown - 

William Titcomb - Charles Bryant - Nell Cuneo - Frank Sherwin - 

George Bradshaw - Edward and Vesta Simmons



Issue 20 (34 pages) is available from July 2020


This includes articles on


Ernest and Esther Borough Johnson in Cornwall  - and reveals wholesale mis-attribution of their works


Yet more on Henry and Florence Snell and the Summer Class of 1914

- in addition to a detailed look at the Snells' family histories, artists featured include Irma Kohn, Sara Shewell Hayden, Jane Peterson, Felicie Waldo Howell, Moses Mitteldorfer Strauss, Mary Nicolena MacCord, Charles Rice Armstrong and Martha Wood Welcher.


A look at Cornish subjects in the first 40 years of the Royal Cambrian Academy exhibition catalogues

- artists featured include John McDougal, William Brint Turner, James Watts, Reginald Smith, Tom and Nellie Clough, James Towers, Robert Segah Pugh, William Parkyn, Herbert Weaver, Cyril Ward, William Corah, G H Swinstead, Percy Teasdale and Florence Fitzgerald.


Recent paintings at auction by Sydney Laurence, Howard Russell Butler, Emile Vernier, Otto Scholderer and Arthur Kemp Tebby, plus a look at the career of Edith Meta Alexander.

Issue 21 (39 pages) is available from January 2021


This includes articles on


Walter Donald Angier - the Americans Martha Wood Belcher and Hilda Belcher - Louis Reckelbus - Tom Robertson - Eardley Blomefield


Recent paintings at auction by James McNeill Whistler - John Park - Hurst Balmford - Alfred Wallis - Bryan Pearce - Bryan Wynter - Claude Montague Hart


Herbert Lanyon's portrait photos of Reginald Glanville (property agent and art collector), Arthur Beaumont (American artist), Captain John Penberthy (mining engineer and kinsman of Sir Henry Irving)



Issue 22 (26 pages) is available from July 2021


This includes articles on


1875 depictions of the pilchard harvest at St Ives                          

Recent paintings at auction by William Bartlett, S.J.Lamorna Birch, Herbert Babbage, Borlase Smart, Will Osborn, Hurst Balmford, 

Garlick Barnes, Eileen Izard and Frank Suddards


Christopher Wood’s depictions of ‘The Sloop Inn’, St Ives                    


Herbert Lanyon’s portrait photos of Arminell Morshead (later Lady Gerahty), Robert Langley Hutton, Frances Weir Cuthbert,

Charles Procter and Donald Woodroffe Thomas


Issue 23 (45 pages) is available from January 2022


This includes a long biographical note on Bernard Ninnes (1899-1971) and looks at recent paintings of St Ives at auction by Stanhope Forbes, Dorothy Robinson, John Park, Claude Barry, Thomas Maidment, George Pennington, Nell Cuneo and the Americans, Edward Simmons and Grant Reynard, and the Australian, Hayley Lever.

The Herbert Lanyon portrait photographs featured are those of Charles Greville Morris (1861-1922) - St Ives artist, David Murray Smith (1865-1952) - Artist, Caroline Jackson’s statuette of a Ballet Dancer, Edwin Smithells (1858-1937) - Photographer, and Flora Annie Steel (1847-1929) - “the female Kipling”.


Issue 24 (29 pages) is available from March 2023


This looks at the forthcoming exhibition at St Ives Museum entitled Discovering St Ives - Early Visiting Artists and David's new book

St Ives - The Dawn of the Colony.  There is also a listing and commentary on an exhibition of 'Victorian Paintings' held at the Museum in 1953 and a review of Charles Marriott's 1913 novel, Subsoil, in which the artist character is labelled 'the Perfect Bolshevik'.  The Market News section features William Fortescue, Will Bennett, George Jupp, Alfred Hartley, Edna Bridge, Helen Knapping and Clare White amongst others.  The Herbert Lanyon portrait photographs section concentrates on his musical friends.


Issue 25 (63 pages) is available from September 2023


This features an extended 45 page article on the four Whitehouse sisters, who were integral members of the St Ives artistic community from 1890-1920.  In particular, it highlights the achievements of Sarah Elizabeth Whitehouse.  The article has been prompted by the donation by the Whitehouse family of significant archival material which it is ultimately hoped will be added to the Whitehouse archive at the Royal Institution of Cornwall. 


This Issue also looks at the literary career of Morley Roberts, in the light of a series of photographs by Herbert Lanyon of Roberts, his step-daughter Naomi Hamlyn and his great friend, the St Ives artist, Alfred Hartley.


In the Market News section, artists featured include Ellis Wilkinson, Tom Hemy, the Americans Charles Rollo Peters and George Gardner Symons, John Noble Barlow, George Bradshaw, Borlase Smart and a note on Aimée Le Roy (who wrote under the pseudonym Esmé Stuart).


Issue 26 (34 pages) is available from March 2024


This introduces the 2024 St Ives Museum exhibition Capturing the Light : St Ives Artists 1885-1914 and celebrates the 2023 exhibition having been voted Cornish Heritage Exhibition of the Year.


There is also a feature on the connections of the author, Margaret Kennedy, with St Ives in the light of the centenary of the publication of her famous novel, The Constant Nymph, which was written in the town.


Other artists featured are Romilly Fedden, Charles Simpson, Hiram Ellis, Borlase Smart and John Park.


There are some further portrait photos from the Herbert Lanyon Collection.