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This first ever queer history of St Ives weaves together biography with art and social history to shine new light on a pivotal era in the development of British modernism
Based on original interviews and previously unpublished letters and diaries, Queer St Ives reveals a fascinating, hitherto undocumented history, adding vital new insight into the history of the fabled British art colony. At the center of this pioneering volume is the sculptor John Milne, who arrived in the southwestern town of St Ives, Cornwall, in 1952, to work as an assistant to Barbara Hepworth. Hidden behind tall granite walls, Milne's house, Trewyn, became a meeting point for queer figures from the arts and was the scene of legendary parties. The large cast--queer and otherwise--featured here includes artists Francis Bacon, Alan Lowndes, Marlow Moss, Patrick Procktor, Mark Tobey, Keith Vaughan and Brian Wall; Whitechapel Art Gallery director Bryan Robertson; actors Keith Barron and Richard Wattis; potter Janet Leach; writers Tony Warren and Richard Blake Brown; and the extraordinary Julian Nixon, a queer everyman whose involvement in the group has been little explored until now.