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The Test of Time

The daily news can be both depressing and up-lifting and not always in equal measures. Many of our readers most likely enjoyed the exhibitions during the centenary year and one of the highlights of course was the retrospective exhibition at The Bowes Museum where over 53,000 people travelled from all parts of the UK to enjoy the works on show. There should be some announcements in the coming months to share plans about a new exhibition in 2024.

One of the more unusual highlights at The Bowes Museum in 2020 during ‘the hanging’ (pictures not staff) was an interview by BBC Radio 4 Today (listening figures 6 million+) when the interviewer asked Associate Professor Jean Brown of Northumbria University, the question, “Will his work stand the test of time?” to which she replied: “Absolutely – because he is up there with Rembrandt, Degas and Lautrec.”

Great works of art inevitably stand the test of time and there is an authenticity in Cornish’s work which spans his era and, in the ‘wheel of art’, often generating new ‘isms’, Cornish remains at the hub. He has become an anchor point in the wider arts community, building on social realism without shifting towards abstraction and decoration.

‘Behind The Scenes: The Norman Cornish Sketchbooks’ published in 2017 revealed the detailed creative process in Cornish’s sketchbooks. The test of time concept has provided the inspiration for a new book to collate the stories behind the pictures and the legacy projects. It is accompanied by a collection of informed comments from nationally respected arts and cultural specialists who have enjoyed Cornish’s work throughout their own lifetimes.

For over 50 years we spent many hours in conversation with Norman, listening as he shared highlights of his life and work. This experience enabled a special insight to a treasure trove of historical moments and anecdotes. The stories behind much of his work were revealed to provide unrivalled access to a slice of art history.

Some good news…… We have been working for the past 18 months on this new book, ‘The Test of Time’ which will be launched in October. The front cover is featured today. Details about the book and arrangements for the launch will be published during the coming weeks. To be continued…….