In the early 1980s David Heseltine, then Head of Art at Truro School, found himself frustrated that the independent status of the school barred it from borrowing artworks from the Cornwall Council Schools Art Collection. He was convinced that the school should begin its own Collection in order that generations of students might learn from looking at the real thing. Today, the Collection encompasses nearly 300 artworks representing a veritable A-Z of late 20th and early 21st century artists, the majority of whom lived and worked in Cornwall and some of who attained international recognition.

The Collection is rarely seen, and this is only the second time that the Collection has featured in an exhibition at the Royal Cornwall Museum in forty years. The exhibition draws from Heseltine’s unique personal archive and stories he gathered when visiting the many artists who gifted to the Collection or from whom he purchased.

Iconic artworks from St Ives, West Penwith/Newlyn halls of fame, and Falmouth Art School showcase diverse subjects and media, creating a ‘living’ teaching resource.

The Collection is unusually well gender-balanced and alongside Patrick Heron, Terry Frost, Peter Lanyon, Bryan Pearce and Breon O’Casey you will find works by Kate Nicholson, Margot Maeckelburghe, Daphne McClure, Sandra Blow and Wilhelmina Barnes-Graham as well as discovering artists whose work you might not know so well.