The trouble with St Ives' artists' colony – archive, 1960
Art Business

The trouble with St Ives’ artists’ colony – archive, 1960

St Ives is frankly unsympathetic to the little colony of disillusionment in its midst. When several prime members, bearded and be-jeaned, broke down and asked for jobs at the local Employment Exchange, the manager hid his embarrassment and firmly told them to return when they had had a wash. “It would have been an insult “to send them round to an employer,” he explained, with true local pride. The art of St Ives is no sideshow Read more The feeling here against the “weirdies” might be attributed in Chelsea or Greenwich Village to the narrowness of a small town if St Ives were not already such a tolerant community and the meeting place of two worlds. Mixed together here in the same borough are about eight thousand laymen and what is claimed to be the largest colony of artists outside London. And if the laymen who include such “respectable” people as fishermen and hotel managers frown on the “weirdies,” so do the artists who range from traditionalists to the most abstract of moderns. The rebels without a cause seem to appeal to no one. “They give me the pip,” is a typical comment. One painter described how six “weirdies” […]

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