St Ives’ Artistic Legacy

Written by Christine & Paul of “The Lighthouse Apartment

St Ives’ artistic heritage is definitely a draw for us.  You’re so aware of the beautiful light which enfolds the town and beaches, it’s no wonder it became such a magnet for artists.  There’s something beautiful to see wherever you turn – cobbled streets, pretty fisherman’s cottages with their pots of flowers and colourful boats in the harbour.

The most famous gallery in the town is the Tate St Ives and we’re super excited that the new Gallery will be opening on Saturday 14 October 2017.    We’ve really missed the Tate as it was closed for 18 months due to the building of the new Gallery extension which doubles the size of the current space.  It’s been a huge project which meant building into the rocks behind the existing building – clever stuff!

Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on Porthmeor Beach, the Tate was originally built on the site of a former gasworks in the heart of the town’s traditional fishing community, so it’s a special building to start with.  At its centre is the spectacular curved gallery with refracted views of Porthmeor beach.  In the mid-20th century St Ives developed into a creative hub of influential British and international artists, hence the Tate came to town.

One of the first exhibitions in the new Tate St Ives gallery will be Modern Art & St Ives which will explore the history of modern art and the relationship of St Ives with the international art world… Definitely a must-see!  At the same time Tate are showing sculptor Rebecca Warren’s first major UK solo exhibition in 8 years.

And, if you’re feeling peckish: The Tate has a great cafe on the top floor together with a roof terrace with stunning views.

Aside from this landmark museum, you may also wish to visit the Leach Pottery, founded by Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada.  It’s one of the most influential potteries in the world and is open all year. Or, the wonderful home, gardens and museum of the talented sculptress Barbara Hepworth.

There are also a number of privately owned galleries definitely worth a visit if you fancy owning a print or painting of St Ives origin. Our favourite is the Belgrave Gallery which specialises in modern British and contemporary art.  They also have some very good exhibitions of St Ives artists.


We love the view of St Ives bay from our living area or balcony – the changing light on the sea and headland going out to Godrevy.  Perfect for chilling with a good book or glass of wine.  We hope you love it too.

Cherished are still taking bookings for the Lighthouse Apartment for October.  Why not combine a trip to the opening of the Tate St Ives or book a week for half term?

..Or maybe you’d like to stay at the Lighthouse apartment and see in 2018 at the best party in Cornwall…!

New Year’s Eve is the event of the year in St Ives.  The town is pedestrianised after 6pm so best to leave your car back at base.  Amazing costumes with themed families and groups create a festival like atmosphere and the spectacular firework display at midnight over the harbour is a wow.