Our autumn show focuses on private collectors and the important role they play in helping to form exhibitions. A Passion for Cornish Art showcases part of the collection of John and the late Pep Branfield, who, over the past 50 years, have amassed over 150 paintings and ceramics by artists and potters working in Cornwall. For over twenty-five years, Penlee House have been borrowing works from private collectors such as the Branfields for inclusion in our exhibitions, and regular visitors to the Gallery will recognise many of the paintings in this show.
Initially collecting paintings by Newlyn School artists such as Stanhope Forbes, Charles Simpson and Thomas Cooper Gotch, the Branfields’ interest then moved on to St Ives artists including Robert Borlase Smart, John Anthony Park, and works by St Ives Modernists such as John Wells, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Terry Frost and Bryan Wynter. In later years, paintings by Roger Hilton, Rose Hilton and Paul Feiler were added to the collection. Throughout this period, the Branfields continued to collect the work of artist friend Tony Giles and, in fact, the very first and very last paintings acquired were by him.
As well as being the last chance to see these paintings together as a curated collection, this exhibition aims to highlight the important relationship that Penlee House Gallery & Museum has with private collectors in order to stage interesting and relevant exhibitions celebrating the wealth of artistic talent in Cornwall, and help make previously unseen paintings more accessible to the wider public. The exhibition is being opened by John Branfield owner of The Mingose Collection
This exhibition is sponsored by Lay’s Auctioneers. The Branfield Collection will be offered at auction in February 2024 by Lay’s Auctioneers.