Bernard Ninnes (1899-1971)

Bernard Trevorrow Ninnes RBA, ROI was born in Reigate, Surrey, and his father was an ironmonger of St Ives origin. Ninnes studied at West of England College of Art, Bristol, then at the Slade under Tonks and Steer. He married Edyth Mary Day in 1930 and settled in St Ives. He was an important figure in the St Ives Society of Artists (STISA), serving on the committee from 1932-63, and within that as Vice President and Chairman from 1949-54. He was also President of the St Ives Art Club (STIAC) in 1936, and in 1953 was founder of the St Ives Society for the Advancement of Music and Arts. A distinctive artist admired for his "modern" touch in 1930s and 1940s, he initially worked from Dolphin Studio and made a strong impression on Robert Borlase Smart in 1932. In 1938 he left St Ives and gave an address in Dublin for exhibition purposes. The following year he listed Guildford, Surrey as his base, but then returned to St Ives in 1940, living in the Ayr district. By 1962, he had shown over 135 works in exhibitions of STISA and RBA but had ceased exhibiting by 1963 due to ill health.

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