Norman Cornish is a much loved, celebrated mining artist and much sought-after contemporary painter.
Born on 18 November 1919, Norman lived in Oxford Street, Spennymoor before his family moved to Bishops Close Street adjacent to the old ironworks and gasworks. He described the house he shared with his parents and siblings as primitive.
Norman began working as an underground datal lad (employed by the day doing odd job work) on Boxing Day in 1933, where Norman heard of a sketching club in Spennymoor. The club was provided by the Spennymoor Settlement, inaugurated in 1931 as a recreational centre, later known as The Pitmans Academy. Accepted as a member of the Settlement at the age of 15 Norman became focused on his art and his work. Norman exhibited at the Settlement for the first time at the annual art exhibition and continued to paint throughout World War Two. Immediately after the war Norman held his first one-man exhibition in the 'Green Room' at the People's Theatre in Newcastle upon Tyne. In 1947 five of Norman's paintings were purchased and destined for Hobart House, the NCB offices in London by Dr Revans, the director of education at the National Coal Board. Consequently Norman was asked to co-organise an exhibit in London's Oxford Street called 'Art by the Miner'. Norman continued to paint and exhibit nationally and locally becoming one of the most sought after contemporary painters.
Viewing is on Saturday 4th February 10am - 1pm, Tuesday 7th February 2pm-6pm and the morning of the Auction from 9am. The Auction starts at 10am.