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Remembering Norman Cornish, a celebrated 20th century artist and honoured Newcastle University alumnus

His iconic work is currently being showcased at The Bowes Museum

North East born and bred, Norman Cornish is indisputably the most renowned mining artist of the 20th century. His work celebrates the industrial history of Britain, with a depth of warmth and humanity which captures the era unequivocally.

In 1974, Cornish was awarded an Honorary Master of Arts degree from Newcastle University, as an accolade to his extraordinary paintings of the region. Cornish was, and still is, one of the most sought after artists in the country. His work showcases life inside of the mines as well as traditional life in the North East of England, specifically County Durham where he was born and raised. He spent over three decades as a miner and was the final artist from the ‘Pitman’s Academy’, a pioneering artists community set up locally in the 1930s.  

If you’re interested in seeing the work of Norman Cornish, The Bowes Museum have extended their exhibition ‘Norman Cornish: The Definitive Collection’ to 17 May 2020 which showcases previously unseen work by the iconic artist. The collection contains over 60 pieces of Cornish’s work including paintings, oil paintings and drawings which together tell the thought-provoking tale of his life and career. The collection is highly recommended and is a wonderful opportunity to see the work of an artist who has been honoured by local universities.


Norman Cornish

published on: 28 February 2020