Charity gives Falmouth Gallery print collection starring Marilyn Monroe

FALMOUTH Art Gallery has been given an exceptional collection of 99 prints created by the master printmaker, Hugh Stoneman which includes a sultry, behind-the-scenes image of Marilyn Monroe taken from her last completed feature film. The gift has been made by The Art Fund, the UK's leading independent art charity, which bought the collection for £30,000, and means the Gallery now boasts one of the most important print collections outside of London.

Hugh Stoneman (1947-2005) was an internationally preeminent master printer during the second half of the 20th century. The Art Fund Hugh Stoneman Archive celebrates a career spanning three decades in which Stoneman worked closely with a diverse range of painters, photographers, sculptors and ceramicists including George Shaw, Linda McCartney and Eve Arnold, and with prominent Cornish artists such as Sandra Blow, Sir Terry Frost and Barbara Hepworth.

One of the star prints in the Archive is an alluring and unusual photogravure of Marilyn Monroe playing pool. The image was taken by renowned photographer Eve Arnold on the set of The Misfits, the classic American film written by Arthur Miller and starring screen legends Clarke Gable and Montgomery Clift. Arnold, who often worked with Monroe, documented the troubled making of the movie which saw Monroe divorce Miller and delve further into alcohol and drugs. Tragically, it was to be Monroe’s last completed feature film.

Andrew Macdonald, Deputy Director of The Art Fund, said: “The intimate and seductive image of Marilyn Monroe playing pool on the set of her final film The Misfits is just one of the many highlights in this eclectic collection of prints. Hugh Stoneman made an immense contribution to contemporary printmaking, reflected in this impressive archive that we are thrilled to give to Falmouth Art Gallery.”

Stoneman was born in Islington, London in 1947 and graduated as a painter from Camberwell College of Art, London in the late 1960s. He discovered his talent for printmaking after studying etching with W.Hayter in Paris at Atelier 17 in 1970. Stoneman had several studios in London from the early 1970s before he located to Cornwall. After twelve years of commuting he finally built a print studio in Madron, Cornwall in 1995, where he worked for the rest of his life. Stoneman’s skills however were sought out by major contemporary artists from all over the world including those from Africa, Chile, Hungary, India, Iraq, Mexico, Russia, and of course throughout the UK.

Falmouth Art Gallery will be holding a major exhibition of the Archive, titled The Masters’ Master – The Art Fund Hugh Stoneman Archive, opening on 14 November 2009 at Falmouth Art Gallery. Prior to that time, a selection of prints will be on display, and anyone wishing to access the entire Archive is welcome to do so at the Gallery’s premises.


Notes to editors:

The Image of Marilyn Monroe:

  1. Seven Photogravures, Marilyn Monroe – Photogravure by Hugh Stoneman, Photograph by Eve Arnold (credit: Eve Arnold / Magnum Photos).
  2. Mangnum Photos has granted permission to publish the image until 21 December. If you would like to use this image after this time please contact: Billy Macrae, Editorial Assistant ,, London office: Magnum Photos, 63 Gee Street, London EC1V 3RS; Phone: 0207 4901771.
  3. A photogravure is a process for reproducing a photograph in large editions.

The Work and the Artist:

  1. The Art Fund Hugh Stoneman Archive includes prints created in collaboration with (amongst others), the following artists: Eve Arnold, Anthony Benjamin, Elisabeth Butterworth, Camil Chadriji, Maurice Cockrill, Eileen Cooper, Thomas Joshua Cooper, Alan Davie, Richard Deacon, Arturo Di Stefano, Manuel Franquelo, Hamish Fulton, Cesar Galicia, David Hiscock, Gordon House, John Hoyland, Gary Hume, Andre Jackowski, Adam Lowe, Mari Mahr, Pradip Malde, Roger Mayne, Alexander Mackenzie, Ian McKeever, Dhruva Mistry, Breon O'Casey, Peter Randall Page, George Shaw, Richard Smith and Karl Weshke.
  2. Stoneman worked with prominent Cornish artists such as Sandra Blow, Sir Terry Frost, Fay Godwin, Patrick Heron, Barbara Hepworth, Kurt Jackson and David Nash.
  3. Stoneman had several studios in London from the early 1970s - The Islington Studio in 1972, the Print Centre, Covent Garden in 1979 and the Print Centre, Islington in 1988.
  4. The Hugh Stoneman Archive presented by The Art Fund will fill some important gaps in the Gallery’s collection, which already possesses original prints by international masters such as Durer and Rembrandt through to Matisse and Picasso, and features top British artists Sir Peter Blake, Merlyn Evans and Patrick Caulfield.
  5. Falmouth Art Gallery was made aware of the collection of prints thanks to Sir Alan Livingston of University College Falmouth. After meeting with Sir Alan and Hugh Stoneman’s widow Linda, gallery Director Brian Stewart acted immediately to keep the works in Cornwall. The acquisition has also received encouragement from Little Parc Owles Trust whose representative, Lady Carol Holland stated: “Our Trustees agree that Hugh Stoneman was a major Master Printer with international connections and status and we wish the Gallery you every success in its your project to retain his important archive in for Cornwall”. The Trust is funding print workshops for local A-level students who will be inspired by the archive.

The Art Fund:

  1. The Art Fund is the UK’s leading independent art charity. It offers grants to help UK museums and galleries enrich their collections; campaigns on behalf of museums and their visitors; and promotes the enjoyment of art.
  2. It is entirely funded from public donations and has 80,000 members. Since 1903 the charity has helped museums and galleries all over the UK secure 860,000 works of art for their collections.
  3. Recent achievements include: helping secure Anthony d’Offay’s collection, ARTIST ROOMS, for Tate and National Galleries of Scotland in February 2008 with a grant of £1million; putting together a unique funding package to ensure Dumfries House in Ayrshire and its contents were secured intact for the nation in July 2007; and running the ‘Buy a Brushstroke’ public appeal which raised over £550,000 to keep Turner’s Blue Rigi watercolour in the UK.
  4. For more information contact the Press Office on 020 7225 4888 or visit

Falmouth Art Gallery:

  1. Falmouth Art Gallery is open 10 - 5pm Monday to Saturday (closed Sundays). Admission is free. For any other information please contact Donna Williams on 01326 313863.
  2. Falmouth Art Gallery already possesses original master prints by Albrecht Durer (1471-1528), Rembrandt (1606-1669), Claude Lorrain (1600-1682), Adriaen van Ostade (1610-1685), Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) through to Henri Matisse (1869-1954), Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Sir Peter Blake, Merlyn Evans and Patrick Caulfield.
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