Sheila Hichens Collection
Visitors to St Michael’s Mount can view the Sheila Hichens Collection of Newlyn School art at the restored Steward’s House that is found in the harbour village.
The Sheila Hichens Trust was formed by virtue of Sheila Hichens’ Will to create an art collection to show how life was lived in West Cornwall before the middle of the twentieth century.
This culturally significant collection contains more than 40 paintings and is currently displayed in the Steward’s House. It includes many works by acclaimed Newlyn School artists such as Walter Langley, Stanhope Forbes, Laura Knight, and Harold Harvey. The Newlyn School began in the 1880s and continued into the first half of the twentieth century. Artists came to West Cornwall attracted by the beauty of the scenery, quality of light, simplicity of life, and the drama of the sea. They would often paint their subject in the open air, in a purer, more natural, setting.
The Steward’s House and Sheila Hichens Collection will be free to access for visitors to the island during opening hours.
The Steward’s House will be available for pre-booked visits by local schools and community groups as part of the learning programme, funded by the St Aubyn Foundation.
'Tulip Pickers' by Harold Harvey
Who was Sheila Hichens?
Sheila Hichens was born in 1924 and her childhood was deeply rooted in West Cornwall, where her father was headmaster of Lescudjack School in Penzance and her grandfather lived in Newlyn. After winning a scholarship to Exeter University, she had a successful career as an educationalist and travelled widely, but in retirement came back to live in Mousehole before she was able to buy her grandfather’s old house in Newlyn. For recreation, she treasured her pilot’s licence and loved to travel.
Sheila died in 2012 and by virtue of her Will, the Sheila Hichens Trust was formed to create a specific art collection to showcase life in West Cornwall before the middle of the twentieth century. Her trustees are William Rogers and Lord St Levan.
Find out more about The Sheila Hichens Trust by clicking here.
Header image: 'Courting Couple on a Fish Quay - Newlyn' by Albert Chevalier Tayler