Painter, draughtsman and teacher whose work concentrated on the mining world of the northeast of England. Born in Spennymoor, County Durham, aged 14 he became a miner, like his father, retiring from the National Coal Board after 30 years. Then taught at Sunderland Art College. Showed at Northern Academy and with the Stone Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, later exhibitions including Nicholas Bowlby, Tunbridge Wells, 1995. In 1962 Cornish was commissioned by Durham County Council to paint a big canvas for the new County Hall. He appeared in a number of television films, including the BBC’s Two Border Painters (the other was Sheila Fell) in 1963 and Tyne Tees Television’s Shapes of Cornish, 1976. The library of the University of Northumbria, in Newcastle upon Tyne, has a unique collection of pictures by Cornish on permanent display, including the major paintings Pit Road near a Colliery, Winter, and Pit Road with Telegraph Pole and Lights.

Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)

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