Discovering Anchor Studio: An Artists’ Haven in Newlyn
This autumn Penlee House Gallery and Museum, Penzance will be staging an exhibition to celebrate the history of Anchor Studio in Newlyn. It was built especially for Stanhope Forbes (1857 – 1947), the leading figure of the Newlyn School, who used it for sixty years. When his famous School of Painting was in operation, generations of artists knew it as Forbes’ central teaching studio.
After Forbes’s death in 1947 it was bought by John Wells (1907 – 2000), one of the principal St Ives Modernists, who had spent the war years as a GP on the Isles of Scilly. He preferred to live and work in Newlyn and he named the studio after an old iron anchor he found in its overgrown garden. When Wells died in 2000 he bequeathed Anchor studio and the nearby studios in Trewarveneth Street, to the Borlase Smart Trust: it was then re-named the Borlase Smart John Wells Trust.
The exhibition will feature paintings by Stanhope Forbes and John Wells – two artists whose work spans 120 years, from the early Newlyn School to mid-twentieth century modernism. In addition, the exhibition includes works by fellow artists such as Ben Nicholson, Peter Lanyon, Christopher Wood and Bryan Wynter, which give context to the way art changed during this period. Also included are archives and photographs, as well as a record of work-in-progress throughout the meticulous renovation project led by Conservation Architect Rolfe Kentish.
Discovering Anchor Studio: an artists’ haven in Newlyn will be on display at Penlee House Gallery & Museum, Penzance 25 September 2021 – 8 January 2022.