Porthmeor Studios

Visitor information

Feature List

  • Artist in residence
  • Guided Tours
  • Disabled facilities
  • St Ives School of Painting

A working studio on the edge of Porthmeor Beach, with a history dating back over a century.

The buildings that would later host Porthmeor studios were originally built in 1801 as cellars, salt houses and net lofts to support St Ives's thriving pilchard industry. From the 1880s onwards, artists started building studios in and around the area, attracted both by the north-facing lofts and the unique quality of Cornish light. During this period, Porthmeor Studios hosted painters and sculptors such as Ben Nicholson (1894-1982), Francis Bacon (1909-1992), Patrick Heron (1920-1999) and Wilhelmina Barns-Graham (1912-2004) - among others.

In 1948, the studios and cellars came up for sale, and were bought the following year with support from Arts Council England. Refurbished between 2010-12, today Porthmeor Studios remains true to its original heritage, with floor-length windows providing a vantage point over the waves, and flooding the studios with light. The building continues as a working studio, though the public are welcome to visit through guided tours, and during the September Festival each year.

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Articles from Porthmeor Studios

Chris Hibbert, Manager at Porthmeor Studios, Cornwall, on the balance between heritage and contemporary artistic practice.


Back Road West
St Ives
United Kingdom
TR26 1NG


01736 339 339



What's on
Opening times:

Porthmeor Studios runs a range of public events throughout the year. See the website for more details.

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St Ives September Festival 2016
St Ives September Festival 2016