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The Unseen Works - ‘Did you know?’

The programme of lectures about the life and work of Norman Cornish commenced about five years ago following the launch of ‘Behind The Scenes: The Norman Cornish Sketchbooks.’ In 2019 the series of lectures continued around the theme of ‘The Norman Cornish Centenary Lecture’ and the public appetite for these illustrated talks remains as strong as ever.

There are two distinct settings for lectures and some take place for the members of societies and formal groups such as Local History Societies, U3A, Arts Groups, Women’s Institutes, Rotary Clubs, PROBUS and Friends of …… etc. These events support the benefit of membership of a wide range of community groups. In addition many Primary School groups in County Durham have also enjoyed the illustrated talks delivered by Dorothy and John Cornish as part of their curriculum experience.

Public lectures are slightly different in that they are available for any member of the public and a nominal ticket fee is charged which also helps the organisers plan for the anticipated numbers arriving. Public lectures have also taken place at Art Galleries, Arts Centres, Town Halls, Book Festivals, The Lit & Phil and Redhills .

One of the unintended outcomes at all of these venues has been at the end of lectures when members of the public make contact to announce that they own a ‘Cornish,’ or know someone who does own a picture. A conversation often starts with ‘Did you know?’ and without exception a whole range of fascinating anecdotes have been disclosed regarding Cornish, his work, his life, and historical relationships with other artists such as Sheila Fell, LS Lowry, John Peace and Ned Owen .

The pictures featured today were previously unseen and purchased during the Stone Gallery era in Newcastle. Details have been recorded for the ‘back catalogue’ in preparation at Northumbria University.

Two public lectures are planned for November and details will be published during the next two weeks. Hopefully some further conversations will ensue after the opening line, ‘Did you know?’ and perhaps some previously unseen works by Cornish may also emerge for the public benefit.

Cornish Centenary

Throughout the centenary year, an interesting range of themed exhibitions is planned in order to commemorate Norman’s life and to celebrate his work.

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