Melissa HARDIE


Former Chairman of NAG Council of Management (1994-6), Hardie worked with the Gallery on projects and exhibitions where some historical perspective was required.  An example of this was the (2011) Centennial exhibition in celebration of the life and achievements of the 19th century philanthropist and Cornishman, John Passmore Edwards (1823-1911), who funded the building of the Newlyn Art Gallery (John Opie Memorial) in 1895.

She was a writer and publisher on local art history, and the editor of the centennial book about NAG published in 1995, 100 Years in Newlyn, Diary of a Gallery 1895-1995 (available from the Gallery). In 2009 Artists in Newlyn & West Cornwall 1880-1940, A Dictionary & Sourcebook was published, in which she brought together a large team of contributors to help tell the stories of this remarkable collection of artists who worked in Cornwall. Acting as Coordinator of the West Cornwall Art Archive and the Hypatia Art Collection, she contributed regularly to the various activities of related groups, until 2016 acting as general editor of developments such as this Cornwall Artists Index Project (CAI).

In the 2010 exhibition 'Exquisite Trove', sponsored by The House of Fairy Tales (July-October) at NAG, Hardie exhibited her installation created with the artist Roy CALLOW, entitled The DWELLINGS Bookcase, a telling of her own life through the books she had read and valued, and which were placed in miniature replicas of the houses she had lived in. 

In 2016 she retired from the General Editorship of this Index (CAI), a voluntary post requiring daily attention to a myriad of detail about artists far and wide. In the 2012 Honours list, she was appointed a MBE (Member of the British Empire) and received her Medal in March, 2013 from the Queen, 'for services to the arts and heritage of West Cornwall'.

2019 saw the publication of Melissa Hardie's Bronte Territories: Cornwall and the Unexplored Maternal Legacy, 1760-1870.

Melissa Hardie died peacefully on 5 July 2022, a remarkable woman greatly missed.


Author, designer and painter, lecturer, publisher

works and access

Books: See Open Library (on-line)

Works incl:  Dwellings Bookcase (& accompanying leaflet-book); etchings; decorative interior furnishings; murals;

Access: Trevelyan House, 16 Chapel Street, Penzance, Cornwall TR18 4AW


1988: Lamorna Kerr Art Group, Annual Exhibition of Paintings, Lamorna Village Hall

2004: Co-organiser with Andrea & John GARRIHY, WCAA Founding Art Auction (2004), Queen's Hotel

2010: Exhibitor, 'Exquisite Trove' exhibition, Newlyn Art Gallery & The House of Fairy Tales (July-Oct)

2010: 'The Penguin Collector' with Kelvin Hearn, Trevelyan House, August

2011: Exhibition collaborator: Passmore Edwards Centennial, NAG 29 January-2nd May

2012: Co-organiser, 'Hypatia's Handbag' Exhibition with Andrea GARRIHY and Susan Hoyle, Trevelyan House, Penzance, July (publication), featuring numerous West Cornwall artist-makers and painters


Hypatia Trust, Trustee

The Nightingale Fellowship, St Thomas' Hospital, London

Fellow, Linnean Society

Fellow, Royal Society of Arts

Archivist, Royal Geological Society of Cornwall

Hon Curator, Hypatia Trust Collections

misc further info

Melissa Hardie was the Founder Director of the Hypatia Trust, an educational charity and research group that studies, documents and publishes in the field of women's history. The Hypatia Trust is located at Lower Ground Floor, The Regent 54, Penzance TR18 4AE.



(1995) Editor 100 Years in Newlyn, Diary of a Gallery (illus in col & b&w)

(2000) With Judith Cook & Christiana Payne Singing from the Walls, The Life and Art of Elizabeth Armstrong Forbes (Catalogue Raisonne)

(2000) Penzance, the town and around

(2007) NAG Heritage Lectures: 'A Carrier of Dreams: Newlyn Art Gallery, Newlyn, Cornwall, The Legacy of John Passmore Edwards', Essay (October 31, 2007 at NAG - copies available upon request).

(2009) Editor Artists in Newlyn & West Cornwall 1880-1940 A Dictionary and Source Book, Bristol: Art Dictionaries Ltd.

(2010) The Dwellings Bookcase, A life in books

(2010) Jessica Mann 'Marking the Music of Time' [in] The Lady, 20 July issue, pp22-4: Dwellings Bookcase illus

(2011) NAG Heritage Lectures: 'Building on a Theme: John Passmore Edwards and the Arts & Sciences', Wed 16 March, 11am.

(2019) Author: Bronte Territories: Cornwall and the Unexplored Maternal Legacy, 1760-1870.