Adrian Hill Fine Art

Norman Cornish

Norman Stansfield Cornish (1919 – 2014) was an English mining artist and contemporary and friend of Laurence Stephen Lowry RA RBA.


Norman Cornish is one of the most celebrated of the ‘mining painters’ of the last century and this. He was born in 1919 in Spennymoor in County Durham.

Alike a number of his generation, he began working in the pits at an early age, but was inspired to paint at an early age too. He was accepted into the ‘Settlement’ at the age of 15, later to become known as ‘The Pitman’s Academy’.

Exhibiting with his peers at the Laing Gallery, Cornish held his first exhibition in 1959 at the Stone Gallery in Newcastle. This particular gallery was one of, if not, the leading contemporary art gallery in the North. He exhibited alongside Laurence Stephen Lowry and Sheila Fell.

In 1963 Cornish was the subject of a TV documentary by a young Melvyn Bragg about both Norman and Sheila.

In 1966 he left the work of a pitman and became a full time artist. Continuing to live in and amongst the mining community which continued to provide him with a seemingly endless source of material from which to create his paintings.

His paintings, drawing and sketches are a wonderful record of the life of a northern mining community, at work and at leisure, and one that is highly sought after across the UK and internationally.

Cornish sadly died on 1st August 2014 at the age of 94.

Available Artworks