Lamorna Birch

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Lamorna Birch
Samuel John Birch

(1869-06-07)7 June 1869
Died7 January 1955(1955-01-07) (aged 85)

Samuel John "Lamorna" Birch, RA, RWS (7 June 1869 – 7 January 1955) was an English artist in oils and watercolours. At the suggestion of fellow artist Stanhope Forbes, Birch adopted the soubriquet "Lamorna" to distinguish himself from Lionel Birch, an artist who was also working in the area at that time.[2]


Lamorna Cove (here in 2005) was a frequent subject for his paintings.

Lamorna Birch was born in Egremont, Cheshire, England,[1] he was self-taught as an artist, except for a brief period of study at the Académie Colarossi in Paris during 1895.[3]

Birch settled in Lamorna, Cornwall in 1892, initially lodging at nearby Boleigh Farm. Many of his most famous pictures date from this time and the beautiful Lamorna Cove is usually their subject matter, he was attracted to Cornwall by the Newlyn group of artists but he ended up starting a second group based around his adopted home of Lamorna.[4] He married Houghton (Mouse) Emily Vivian, the daughter of a mining agent from Camborne and they lived at Flagstaff Cottge, Lamorna.[2]


He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1893, was elected as an Associate (ARA) in 1926 and made a Royal Academician (RA) in 1934, and showed more than two hundred paintings there,[5] he held his first one-man exhibition at the Fine Art Society in 1906 and is said to have produced more than 20,000 pictures. Like a number of his contemporaries, he was profiled as an 'Artist of Note' in The Artist magazine, by Richard Seddon, in the June 1944 edition.

  • Shades of British Impressionism Lamorna Birch and his Circle was shown at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery in the Mezzanine in October 2004. This details his links with Henry Scott Tuke and Thomas Cooper Gotch and many others who settled in the artists' colony in the 1880s and 1890s. "These painters helped to change the face of British art. Their emphasis on colour and light, truth and social realism brought about a revolution in British art." says the catalogue for the show.
  • Entranced By A Special Place: The Art Of S J Lamorna Birch – at Penlee House, Penzance, part of the Royal Academy's 250th anniversary celebrations.


Birch has paintings at Penlee House and in the collection of Derby Art Gallery.[6][7]


  1. ^ a b Austin Wormleighton; Samuel John Lamorna Birch (1995). A painter laureate: Lamorna Birch and his circle. Sansom & Co. p. 40. ISBN 978-1-872971-24-7.
  2. ^ a b Ruhrmund, Frank (12 July 2018). "This super exhibition shows why critical acclaim was correct". The Cornishman. p. 15.
  3. ^ "Biography. Lamorna Birch 1869–1955". Penlee House. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  4. ^ Lamorna Cove, Lamorna Birch, BBC, accessed 12 November 2015
  5. ^ "S.J. Lamorna Birch, R.A." Royal Academy. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  6. ^ "Penlee House Gallery and Museum Penzance Cornwall UK". Archived from the original on 23 February 2001. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  7. ^ Winter, Lamorna Birch, accessed August 2011

External links[edit]