About Us

The Penwith Society

The Penwith Gallery is the home of the Penwith Society of Arts in Cornwall.

The Gallery, formerly an old pilchard packing factory, has a remarkable complex of buildings, including three public galleries, artists’ studios, a print workshop, a sculpture courtyard, shop and archive.

The Society was founded in 1949 by Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Peter Lanyon, Bernard Leach, Sven Berlin and Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, amongst others.

This association with so many progressive and influential artists has given the Penwith Society a unique place in British art history.


The Society moved to its present location in 1961 and the site was extended in the early 1970s to include a former underground car park and adjacent buildings.

A charitable company  – Penwith Galleries Ltd – was created to arrange the programme of exhibitions, execute all gallery business and manage the entire complex.

Today the Penwith offers a year-round programme of exhibitions by Society Members and Associates, as well as those by other artists from Cornwall and further afield.

The Penwith continues to be at the forefront of presenting contemporary work of quality.

We are now offering gift cards to be spent at the gallery as well! Contact us for more information.