Over 45,000 Mount visitors journey through time

A new collection of artworks has captivated the hearts and minds of visitors from across the world. The Steward’s House gallery on St Michael’s Mount, home to the Sheila Hichens Collection of Newlyn School art, has become a hub of cultural significance, drawing in over 45,000 visitors in its inaugural year alone.

Founded on the testament of Sheila Hichens, a stalwart protector of Cornwall’s heritage, the Sheila Hichens Trust was established with a single purpose – to commemorate everyday Cornish life, as it thrived a century ago. And what better way to manifest this vision than through the masterpieces of the Newlyn School artists?

As visitors walk through the gallery, they are transported back in time to an era when life revolved around the bustling fishing village of Newlyn and the surrounding countryside. The talents of revered artists such as Stanhope Forbes and Walter Langley fill the walls, breathing life into their subjects with each brushstroke. Pioneers of British plein-air painting, they captured the soul of West Cornwall, the landscape, and its hardworking people.

“For over 45,000 people to visit this exhibition in its first year is extraordinary and confirms both the public interest in this fine collection, as well as the unique location The Mount provides to exhibit it.” William Rogers, Trustee of the Sheila Hichens Trust

The significance of this collection extends beyond the walls of the gallery. It serves as a veritable time capsule, preserving for future generations, a period that shaped Cornwall’s cultural and social fabric. Educational initiatives from the St Aubyn Foundation have helped engage the local community, providing opportunities for learning and promoting a deeper understanding of the artists and their contribution to Cornwall’s artistic legacy.

“Born in Cornwall, Sheila had a great interest in local history and art. Her final wishes were to create a trust to purchase an art collection which reflected her interests. She would have been so grateful to the trustees for their hard work in fulfilling her wishes. I know that she would have been thrilled that this exhibition has been such a success in its first year and that it has been seen by so many people.” Debbie Osborne, goddaughter to Sheila Hichens

The Steward’s House gallery is free to access for all visitors from 01 October until 30 April, during opening hours. Check St Michael’s Mount causeway times in advance of your visit.

‘Penny Whistle’ by Frederick JM Evans