In the Gallery

Five Reasons to Visit Tate St Ives

Discover an award-winning museum of modern and contemporary art on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean

Filmed in Summer 2019

Celebrate the legacy of modern art and St Ives

a person looks at an artwork by Rose Wylie with their back to the camera

© Kirstin Prisk

The town of St Ives has long been an artistic hub, attracting artists since the time of J.M.W. Turner. They were attracted to Cornwall because of the beauty of the landscape and the quality of natural light. From the 1940s a circle of artists working in modern styles grew around St Ives. They contributed to international debates and developments in painting, sculpture and architecture, becoming pioneers of modern art. From this small Cornish fishing town, artists changed the international landscape of art, and of homes, towns and cities through their influence on subsequent generations of artists, designers, architects and makers. Tate St Ives celebrates this legacy. Artworks drawn from the Tate collection are displayed alongside a changing contemporary exhibition programme, bringing forward new perspectives and ideas.

Explore award-winning architecture

photograph of Tate St Ives, a large modern building with a central rotunda

© Kirstin Prisk

Tate St Ives is built on the site of a former gasworks overlooking Porthmeor Beach and the Atlantic Ocean. Originally opening in 1993, architects Eldred Evans and David Shalev were selected for designs that echoed the shapes of the former gasworks, including the ‘rotunda’ that forms the heart of the gallery. The gallery is set in the heart of an artists' community and the collection galleries were modelled on the size and shape of studio spaces located in the town. In 2017 architect Jamie Fobert designed a major extension with a new gallery sunk deep into the cliffs. The exterior responds to the natural forms of the coastline and, in reference to the history of ceramicists in St Ives, such as Bernard Leach, the building is clad in ceramic tiles. Their clay is pale sandy yellow, with blue and green glazes that capture the ever-changing Cornish weather and blend into the hues of the sea beyond.

Discover the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden

view of a large sculpture by Barbara Hepworth positioned on a large green lawn

© Kirstin Prisk

Tate St Ives also manages the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, located a short walk from the gallery. Housed in the intimate setting of her former home, studio and garden, this unique museum showcases some of Hepworth’s most significant carvings and bronze sculptures. One of Britain’s best loved sculptors, Barbara Hepworth first came to live in Cornwall with her husband Ben Nicholson and their young family after the outbreak of the Second World War. The beautiful gardens remain as she laid them out, with many spectacular bronzes left in the positions where the artist herself placed them.

Admire inspiring views of St Ives

view of a blue sky, sea and sandy beach seen through a square window

© Kirstin Prisk

The gallery has an iconic location overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. As you wander through Tate St Ives a series of stunning viewpoints frame the magical St Ives light, seascapes and landscapes, capturing the very substance that first drew artists such as Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth to settle here.

Make the most of our rooftop restaurant and shop

photo of rooftops in St Ives with view out to the sea and sky

© Rikard Österlund

Our restaurant has spectacular views of the old town of St Ives and is a must visit for dishes which celebrate our love of the ocean and champion local seasonal produce. Our shop offers a unique range of gifts inspired by local landscapes and artists.

We Recommend