RepositoryUniversity College Falmouth (GB 3241)
Ref NoFCP3
Date1940s-2009
LevelCollection
Extent53 boxes & 1 O/S bundle / 7.33 linear metres
TitleThe Tom Cross Archive
DescriptionThis Collection falls into four categories which best describe his life activities: Student, Painter, Teacher, and Writer, and are arranged as below:

FCP3/A Student:

This section contains a scrap book and exercise books from Cross' time at St Bede's School in the 1940s.

FCP3/B Painter:

This section includes 33 sketchbooks covering the period 1950-2000, exhibition invitations and catalogues for exhibitions of or including his own works from 1963-2005, photographs from the 11 Eaton Square Swimming Pool Project in 2002, and sales catalogues.

FCP3/C Teacher:

Includes early lecture notes, 1950s-1970s; research and notes from study visits and lecture notes from his time at Falmouth School of Art from 1976-1987; teaching material from his time at the University of Reading in the 1963-1976; lecture notes from the Extra Mural Department of the University of Exeter in the 1990s; NADFAS and AADFAS lectures in the 1990s.

FCP3/D Writer:

Includes research folders on various artists and topics, for example art in St Ives, Impressionism, British Painting, Roman Art, Etruscan Art, Patrick Heron, Barbara Hepworth, and LS Lowry, collated from the 1950s until the 2000s. There is material relating to each of his books: Painting the Warmth of the Sun, The Shining Sands, Catching the Wave and Helford: a River and Some Landscapes. It also contains notes for the never completed Australian Artists in Europe book, journal articles, and materials for the Story of Port Navas exhibition.

Alternative Reference numbers reflect the temporary running number format used throughout the cataloguing process and may now by disregarded.
Admin HistoryTom Cross was well known as a painter, teacher, and writer. Over more than thirty years, he forged strong links with the area of Cornwall that surrounds Falmouth after his appointment as Principal at the prestigious Falmouth School of Art in 1976, and this is reflected in much of his research, writing, and painting. Cross' life was devoted to art, not only to the creation of it, but also to the teaching of it.

Cross was born in Manchester in 1931. He attended St Bede's College in the 1940s before going on to study Architecture at the Manchester School of Art from 1949 to 1953. After his first year, Cross decided to change his course to Fine Art, which seemed to provide more scope for imagination and expression. As a result of his studies he received several awards: the Proctor Scholarship, the Plimmer Scholarship and the Silver Medal for Painting of the Royal Manchester Institution. While at Manchester, he was instrumental in setting up the Northern Young Artists Association, through which he met artist L S Lowry. Lowry was an important artist in Manchester at this time and took a great interest in the Association, to which he was President. Lowry and Cross remained friends until the former's death in 1976.

From 1953 to 1956, Cross studied at the Slade School of Art as a postgraduate. William Coldstream had been appointed Slate Professor three years earlier and invited many well-known artists to come in as tutorial visitors. Cross was able to have discussions with artists such as Ceri Richards, Patrick Heron, Henry Moore and John Piper.

In 1956, Cross was awarded the Abbey Minor Scholarship, offering him as an early career painter a full academic year at the British School at Rome. During this time he travelled in northern Italy and returned to the country several times throughout his life time. Cross worked as a draughtsman for the Director of the School which allowed him to travel to the sites of Etruscan cities in order to prepare drawings and photographs. He was then awarded a French Government Scholarship and worked for a year in Paris and in the south of France until 1958. While travelling, Cross kept sketchbooks and notebooks, as he throughout his whole life, and compiled research on the art of the places he visited. In 1957, while in France, he married Patricia Carrick. They lived together in Paris, Antibes and Biot. During these two years abroad, Cross' work took on more direct and objective forms of realist painting.

In 1959, Cross was appointed Assistant Director of the Welsh Arts Council in Cardiff, where he was responsible for the visual arts programme for Wales. During this time he explored many parts of Wales and became familiar with its coast and mountains. Cross had visited North Wales in the early 1950s, which provided inspiration for his early work, and continued to return frequently throughout his time at the University of Reading.

Tom and Pat's son, David, was born in 1961.

In 1963 Cross was appointed as a Lecturer in Fine Art at the University of Reading by Claude Rogers, who had been Cross' tutor at the Slade and recently appointed Professor of Fine Art at Reading. He progressed to Senior Lecturer in 1969. During his time at Reading, Cross continued to travel, paint and teach. From late 1970 to 1971, Cross undertook a six month Visiting Professorship at Ohio State University in Columbus and while there he made trips to New York, California, Arizona and New Mexico. While at Ohio he made several experimental pieces exploring three-dimensional networks. These were shown at the Hopkins Hall Gallery, Ohio, in May 1971 in the 'Light Works' exhibition. This showcase of paintings, prints and graphics was exhibited across the UK 1972 -1973 in Durham, Reading, Aberystwyth and Cardiff.

During the 1970s Cross' took on a more abstract and structured form; the idea of space complimenting his architectural training. He was also very interested in colour, and many paintings from this time use the primary colours of red, blue and yellow. At this time Cross was also very interested in the architecture of the Baroque period in Rome.

In 1976 Tom and Pat, with their son, David, moved to Cornwall, where Cross was appointed Principal of the Falmouth School of Art. Throughout this time, he produced many paintings and drawings inspired by Cornwall's landscapes and seascapes. This was a transitional period, with new images beginning to appear. The subjects of Cross' paintings began to change, with the rivers of south-west Cornwall replacing the landscape of North Wales. He felt it was important for students to be taught by practising artists and invited many key characters from the St. Ives art scene to teach at the College. He was elected a member of the Penwith Society of Artists and later the London Group in 1978. He believed that this symbiosis was important to illustrate to students that their teachers were still professionally active. While at Falmouth the National Advisory Body threatened the School with closure in 1984 and in 1985 proposed the transfer of Falmouth work to Cornwall College. Both of these instances were overcome and the School continued to grow under Tom's principalship. He continued to travel and work abroad and in 1983-4 was Visiting Professor at the Simons Centre for the Arts, College of Charleston, South Carolina. This was followed by an extended visit to Mexico visiting the country and its principal archaeological sites, and then on to Belize.

Cross subsequently held External Examiner roles in Art and Art History at both the University of Exeter and the University of Wales Aberystwyth. Tom was also an examiner in Fine Art to the Dublin Institute of Technology from 1998 to 2000.

Following retirement from Falmouth in 1987 Cross continued to travel with visits to places as diverse as Wales, Western Samoa, Guernsey, Australia, Dubai and Oman. From 1994 through to 2003 Tom lectured for the National Association of Decorative and Fine Art Societies, and gave lectures all over the UK. In addition he would deliver lectures for NADFAS groups visiting Cornwall. In 1999, Tom spent six weeks in Australia delivering lectures for the Australian Decorative and Fine Art Societies in the principal cities of the east coast.

During this period Tom had published three of his main works: The Shining Sands: Artists in Newlyn and St Ives 1880-1930, in 1994; Painting the Warmth of the Sun: St Ives Artists 1939-1975, in 1995; and Catching the Wave: Contemporary Art and Artists in Cornwall, in 2002. These are all standard works on the history of the Newlyn and St Ives Schools and are key for anyone interested in the development and history of art in Cornwall. Painitng the Warmth of the Sun was also developed as a series of television documentaries for TSW (now ITV).

Despite his love of travelling, Cross made his base for the last thirty-or-so years of his life at Port Navas, along the Helford River. This was to inspire his writing as well as his painting, and was a source for his final book in 2005, Helford - a River and Some Landscapes, a beautifully illustrated account of his early career and time spent living on and painting the Helford River.

Cross died in March 2009. His personal papers were kindly donated to University College Falmouth later than year by his wife Pat, who is keen to ensure the legacy of Tom's work continues and inspires students and artists alike.
LanguageEnglish
Access StatusOpen
Related MaterialThe Falmouth University Library holds publications created and contributed to by Tom Cross:

- Helford: A River and Some Landscapes, 759.237 CRO [biographical piece detailing Cross' life and career]
- Tom Cross: Fifty Years' work, 759.2 CRO [Exhibition Catalogue]
- The artist who loved boats: Percy 'Powder' Thurburn, mariner, artist, adventurer (1869-1961), 759.2 THU
- St Ives and British modernism, 759.2375 SAI
- Artists and Bohemians: 100 years with the Chelsea Arts Club, 706.042134 CRO
- Catching the Wave: contemporary art and artists in Cornwall, from 1975 to the present day, 709.4237
- Painting the Warmth of the Sun: St. Ives artists, 1939-75, 759.2375 CRO
- The Shining Sands: artists in Newlyn and St Ives 1880-1930, 759.2375

The library also holds DVD recordings of the Painting the Warmth of the Sun series broadcast on ITV in 1984 (see DVD 16044, DVD 16045 and DVD 16046).

Tom Cross' painting 'Thirds' in on display in the library at Falmouth Univeristy's Woodlane Campus following donation by the family in 2009 (Development work for 'Thirds' may be found in FCP3/B/1/23).

St Ives Archive also holds materials realting to Tom Cross. This includes interviews conducted by Janet Axten in 1994 (for her Gasworks to Gallery book) and for the Memory Bay Oral Hsitory Project in 2008. Cross also deposited the following interviews conducted as research for 'The Shining Sands':

- CA TC 01 John Henderson & Paul Feiler, 6 July 1980
- CA TC 02 Michael Tooby & Elizabeth Knowles, 16 & 30 March 2001
- CA TC 03 Anthony Frost, March 2001
- CA TC 04 Graham Ovenden, July 2001
- CA TC 05 John Emanuel & Stephen Dove, March 2001
- CA TC 06 Trevor and Harriett Bell, April 2001
- CA TC 07 Kurt Jackson, May 2001
- CA TC 08 Clive Blackmore, 25 May 2001
- CA TC 09 Michael Finn, 24 May 2001
- CA TC 10 Jeremy Le Grice, 25 May 2001
- CA TC 11 Michael Porter & Barrie Cooke, July 2001
- CA TC 12 Robert Jones, 13 July 2001
- CA TC 13 Sandra Blow & Rose Hilton, 6 July 2001
- CA TC 14 Partou Zia & Richard Cook, 6 July 2001
- CA TC 15 Francis Hewlett & Mary Mabbutt, October 2001
- CA TC 16 Diane Ibbotson & Ray Atkins, November 2001
- CA TC 17 Peter Ward & Roger Slack, December 2001
- CA TC 18 Stewart Knowles & John Miller, December 2001
- CA TC 19 Alan Livingston & Jeff Hellier, January 2002
- CA TC 20 Terry Frost & Bob Bourne, 12 February 2002
- CA TC 22 Jeremy Annear, Judy Buxton & Jill Watkiss, 20 March 2002
- CA TC 23 Roy Conn & Bob Crossley, 30 July 2002
- CA TC 24 Ken Howard, 25 July 2002
- CA TC 25 Breon O'Case, nd
- CA TC 26 Ken Symonds & Carole Page Davies 1/2
- CA TC 27 Carole Page Davies 2/2
- CA TC 37 Patrick Heron & Basil Beattie September & October 1975
- CA TC 38 Patrick Heron 1/2, nd
- CA TC 39 Patrick Heron 2/2, nd
- CA TC 41 Paul Feiler 1/2, December 1982
- CA TC 42, Paul Feiler 2/2, December 1982.

Useful websites include (accessed May 2017):
http://tomcross-painter.com/
Belgrave Gallery, St Ives http://www.belgravestives.co.uk/artists/4142/biography/tom-cross
Access ConditionsOpen, except for those records subject to Data Protection Legislation. Please see items level decriptions for further details.
ArrangementThis Collection is organised by the various acitivites of Tom Cross, using his own distinctions of Painter, Teacher, Writer as featured on his epitaph. The arrangement of files within FCP3/D strictly corresponds to Cross' own original order.
Finding_AidsFull catalogue available on CALM and printed versions available in accession files.
Creator_NameCross; Thomas (1931-2009); painter, teacher and writer
Persons
CodePersonNameDates
Persons
CodePersonNameDates
DS/UK/282Cross; Thomas [Tom] (1931-2009)1931-2009
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