What's On

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Paula Downing produces expressive, hand-built, functional fine art inspired by Cornwall’s waves and clifftops. In this exhibition she’s experimenting with a different kind of clay and brings an architectural approach to her work which is sometimes studded with jewel-like intrusions. This new exhibition also includes photographs by Downing’s husband, Antony Hosking which have directly inspired Paula’s work. With this amazing photographic backdrop her ceramics speak for themselves.






Space Visualised

“Museums change our perceptions of culture, art, history and even the way we see things,” says artist & inventor Terry Pope. His latest, interactive exhibition opening at the Royal Cornwall Museum uses optical illusion to play with our perception.

Terry Pope is a Constructionist Artist, his experiments with space-enhancing glasses and lenses are fascinating; and visitors are more than just mere spectators, they’re invited to interact with the art adding a new level of entertainment to their experience. We all know children like to play but looking through any number of the objects in this exhibition proves that adults enjoy playing just as much.

We are particularly fortunate to be able to include in this exhibition seven works by the distinguished constructionist John Ernest (1922-94). These works have been generously loaned by the Ernest family and it is to John Ernest to whom Terry Pope considers this exhibition a tribute.






See Poldark's Cornwall

Following the Sunday night phenomenon that swept the nation, the Royal Cornwall Museum is exploring the rich and varied nature of Poldark's 18th Century Cornwall.

Winston Graham wrote 12 Poldark novels.  These internationally bestselling novels are set in Cornwall where Winston Graham spent much of his life.

This museum has a unique connection with Winston Graham; we hold many of the author’s original notebooks, showing his novels written in long hand and this has resulted in the museum being a site of pilgrimage for the many fans who arrive in Cornwall from across the world looking for traces of Graham’s original work


Test your knowledge of all things Poldark with this Buzz Feed quiz!






The Campaign Trail:
Sir Hussey Vivian, From Waterloo to Westminster

As seen in The Times


June 18th 2015 sees the 200th anniversary of The Battle of Waterloo. The Royal Cornwall Museum is staging an exhibition to commemorate Wellington’s famous victory over Napoleon’s forces by celebrating the life of ‘loyal Truronian’ Major-general Sir Richard Hussey Vivian.

Vivian commanded the 6th Cavalry Brigade who were credited with carrying out the final charges that led to Napoleon’s defeat. The exhibition will feature a number of Vivian’s personal effects from the battle such as his campaign sword, banner and pewter. The highlight of the exhibition will be the rehanging of Sir Martin Archer Shee’s newly restored portrait of Vivian in full military regalia standing alongside his white charger.

The exhibition will also tell the story of Sir Hussey Vivian’s political career. Vivian was twice MP for Truro between 1821 and 1831 and was a strong advocate for political reform. This period in Vivian’s life will be used to explore the concepts of parliamentary reform and voting rights both past and present.


Discover more about the portriat of Sir Hussey Vivian




Supported by






Fom Great Beginnings to the 21st Century

Paintings and sculpture which were originally collected for schoolchildren in Cornwall in the 1960's. Artists such as Jacob Epstein and Anthony Frost are featured in the collection