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St Ives Library

Most Public Libraries in Cornwall do not have a collection of paintings and sculpture of this importance, but St Ives Library, set as it is within an art colony of international renown, has a strong collection that reflects this community over the last 100 years. The Library opened in 1897, just thirteen years after Louis Grier, one of the founder members of the colony, had arrived in the town. His painting ‘Evening at St Ives Bay’ and Borlase Smart’s ‘St Ives Bay from Clodgy’ (1935) are particularly evocative of the St Ives scene as is ‘St Ives Harbour’ the fine watercolour by J. M. Bromley. The ‘Modernists’ began to arrive in the 1950s and a Barbara Hepworth ‘Rock Form’ sculpture, (1951) stands in the entrance hall of the Library. We also have an etching by Ben Nicholson, ‘Bird’s Eye’ (1967), and two works by Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, the painting ‘Cornish Landscape (Porthleven), Evening' (1951) and a drawing, ‘View of St Ives’. The magnificent embroidery by Alice Moore ‘Winter Morning Activity, the Harbour’ (1942–1944) gives a further dimension whilst works by Bryan Pearce, an internationally renowned artist who was born in the town, add to this very particular collection. Overlooking the children’s library there are illustrations by Michael Foreman and his son Mark. Among our more recent acquisitions are the paintings ‘Portreath’ by Rosemary Ziar, also a local artist but widely exhibited, and ‘Porthmeor Window' (1989) by Roy Walker. Both pieces are on permanent loan.

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St Ives Library is managed by St Ives Town Council

St Ives Town Council is an Art UK Partner

St Ives Library

Gabriel Street, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 2LU England

0300 1234 111

Please remember to double-check the opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit