Ridinghouse, 2022, Softcover, 256 pages, 22.5 × 15 cm
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. At its centre is the sculptor John Milne (1931–1978), who arrived in the town in 1952 to work as an assistant to Barbara Hepworth. Hidden behind 20-foot-high granite walls, Milne’s house, Trewyn, became a meeting point for queer figures from the arts as well as the scene of legendary parties. The large cast featured in Queer St Ives and Other Stories includes artists Francis Bacon, Marlow Moss, Mark Tobey and Keith Vaughan, Whitechapel Gallery director Bryan Robertson, potters Janet Leach and Byron Temple, and the extraordinary queer Everyman Julian Nixon.
Based on original interviews and previously unpublished letters and diaries, Queer St Ives and Other Stories is a vital new look at the history of this fabled Cornish art colony.