Norman Cornish Centenary

Norman Cornish
A Self Portrait of Norman Cornish.

Norman Cornish MBE was perhaps one of the most famous artists to emerge from the North East of England in the 20th Century and became one of the most celebrated British artists of his time.

Born into the mining town of Spennymoor, in the Vale of Durham on 18 November 1919, Cornish was famous for capturing the hard-lived but often bright lives, in mining communities where he lived and worked. He left school at 14 and began work as a coal miner and it was only in 1966 that he chose to leave the pits to work as a professional painter.

Norman continued to paint until his peaceful passing at the age of 94 in August 2014. His work continues to be loved by people of all ages and backgrounds. To mark the centenary of his birth and his family has worked in partnership with curators, academics, artists, biographers, galleries and the community to draw together a celebration of his life and work.

Six exhibitions throughout 2019 will offer visitors the chance to see previously unseen works, learn fresh insights and enjoy a major retrospective of Norman Cornish’s art at venues across the county including The Bob Abley Gallery in Spennymoor Town Hall, the Mining Art Gallery, and The Bowes Museum.

The Norman Cornish Trail

Walkers will also be in for a treat, as they can follow in the footsteps of the artist around his home town of Spennymoor on the new Norman Cornish Trail. Setting his work in their actual locations, the trail takes people back to a time when coal was once the life-blood of industry.
Download the Norman Cornish Trail >

Norman Cornish Home

Cornish’s former home from the 1950s and 60s is set to be recreated as part of the Remaking Beamish project 1950s’ town, which is expected to conclude the centenary events in 2020.

“The local collieries have gone, together with the pit-road. Many of the old streets, chapels and pubs, are no more. Many of the ordinary but fascinating people who frequented these places are gone. However, in my memory, and I hope in my drawings, they live on. I simply close my eyes and they all spring to life.” Norman Cornish

To help celebrate the century of Norman’s birth, we are lucky enough to be able to share a series of blogs, giving a unique insight about the man himself by members of the Cornish family.

Click here to read the blogs >>

Number of results:

Number of results: 8

  1. Add Norman Cornish - The Definitive Collection: The Bowes Museum to your Itinerary

    Norman Cornish - The Definitive Collection: The Bowes Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Exhibition

    Barnard Castle

    This major retrospective tells the story of his enduring career with the most comprehensive collection of his work ever assembled, including a number of previously unseen pieces.

    Dates

    From:
    16 Nov 2019to23 Feb 2020
  2. Add Norman Cornish - A Slice of Life: Mining Art Gallery to your Itinerary

    Norman Cornish - A Slice of Life: Mining Art Gallery

    Type

    Type:

    Exhibition

    Market Place, Bishop Auckland

    As part of a countywide celebration, the centenary of Cornish’s birth will be marked by a special exhibition. Co-curated by members of the local community. Residents from Spennymoor to explore Norman’s work & select their favourite paintings.

    Dates

    From:
    6 Apr 2019to13 Oct 2019Open 10:00 - 16:00
  3. Add Norman Cornish - Coming Home: Spennymoor Town Hall to your Itinerary

    Norman Cornish - Coming Home: Spennymoor Town Hall

    Type

    Type:

    Exhibition

    High Street, Spennymoor

    An amazing display of Norman Cornish work infused onto glass with back lighting. Also available within the Town Hall’s Bob Abley Art Gallery is the ‘Durham Miners Gala Exhibition’  by Cornish, complimented by a range of other top regional artists…

    Dates

    From:
    1 Apr 2019to31 Dec 2019Various Opening Times
  4. Add Norman Cornish - A Man of Destiny: The Greenfield Gallery to your Itinerary

    Norman Cornish - A Man of Destiny: The Greenfield Gallery

    Type

    Type:

    Exhibition

    Newton Aycliffe

    The exhibition chronicles the journey of Norman Cornish and the great determination and resilience he showed to become a professional artist. Featuring personal quotes from Cornish and an interesting narrative, the exhibition highlights key moments…

    Dates

    From:
    10 Oct 2019to11 Dec 2019Various Opening Times
  5. Add Norman Cornish - The Portraits: The Gala Gallery to your Itinerary

    Norman Cornish - The Portraits: The Gala Gallery

    Type

    Type:

    Exhibition

    Millennium Place, Durham City

    Portraiture was an important part of Norman Cornish's artistic practice.  This exhibition features self-portraits from throughout his career showing his stylistic development as well as insights into the man himself alongside informal images of his…

    Dates

    From:
    30 June 2019to1 Sept 2019Various Opening Times
  6. Add The Story of the Durham Miners’ Gala Mural: Spennymoor Town Hall to your Itinerary

    The Story of the Durham Miners’ Gala Mural: Spennymoor Town Hall

    Type

    Type:

    Exhibition

    Spennymoor

    Celebrating the centenary of Norman Cornish, this exhibition tells the fascinating story of the mural depicting the Durham Miners’ Gala, painted by the artist in 1963.

    Dates

    From:
    6 Apr 2019to23 Feb 2020Various Opening Times
  7. Add Norman Cornish - The Sketchbooks: Palace Green Library to your Itinerary

    Norman Cornish - The Sketchbooks: Palace Green Library

    Type

    Type:

    Exhibition

    Palace Green, Durham City

    For Norman Cornish, sketching was second nature; an inherent part of his everday life.  This exhibition of little seen sketchbooks will present a new dimension to the artist's practice, focusing on his observations of life, landscapes and family,…

    Dates

    From:
    16 Nov 2019to23 Feb 2020Open 10:00 - 17:00
  8. Add Bishop Auckland History and Heritage Festival - Poetry Evening: A Slice of Life to your Itinerary

    Bishop Auckland History and Heritage Festival - Poetry Evening: A Slice of Life

    Type

    Type:

    Heritage

    Market Place, Bishop Auckland

    Join us for a showcase event celebrating the Norman Cornish Centenary with performance poetry. Tony Gadd will bring together work created during the community workshop programme that has accompanied the exhibition. Booking: Free event - booking…

    Dates

    From:
    25 Sept 2019Open 18:00 - 19:00