20th Century British & Contemporary Art
Castlegate House Gallery

Norman Cornish 1919 - 2014

3rd August, 2014

After only mentioning Norman a few days ago, it's with real sadness that we have to announce that Norman died on 1st August, at the age of 94.  He was the last remaining member of the Pitman's Academy at the Spennymoor Settlement, and has become a hugely influential figure in what is deemed the "Northern School" of art.

Working in the mines, Norman became famous for painting the everyday scenes around him, scenes of work and leisure; walking to the pit head or drinking in the bar. He was the subject, along with Sheila Fell, of a Melvyn Bragg TV documentary in 1963, when still a miner, and yet represented by the famous Stone Gallery in Newcastle, agents of both Sheila and L S Lowry. He turned professional at the age of 47, the only member of the Pitman's Academy to do so.

Norman has left a wonderful legacy of work; a social history of the north that largely no longer exists. We have long admired and collected his work and have been proud to bring examples into the gallery. He will be sadly missed.