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The Test Of Time

A New Book About The Life And Work Of Norman Cornish


There are few people who would fail to instantly recognise the work of Norman Cornish. Often described as a master of the informal portrait and the unguarded moment, his evocative paintings and drawings provide an unrivalled social record as a chronicler of an important era in English history from the 1930s to the early 70s. His observations of people and places are a window into a world which to a large extent no longer exists, but which Norman Cornish has immortalised for us all with its struggle, its beauty and its dignity.

‘The Test of Time’ has been written and collated by Norman Cornish’s daughter and son-in-law Ann and Mike Thornton. Over 50 years of conversation with Norman discussing his life and work has resulted in an unparalleled wealth of historical moments and anecdotes. The stories behind his work are revealed to provide unrivalled access to a slice of art history. ‘The Test of Time’ collates the stories behind the pictures, the legacy projects, and a collection of informed essays from nationally respected arts and cultural specialists who have known and enjoyed Cornish’s work throughout their own lifetimes including: Michael Chaplin, Melvyn Bragg, Andrew Festing MBE,  Dr Robert McManners MBE, Gillian Wales, Steve Swallow, Chris Lloyd, Dr Steve Howell, Dr keith Wilson, Pam Royle & Dr Cesar Lengua.

The Test of Time’ includes over 400 images spanning the depth and breadth of his career. Many are previously unseen and are published  for the first time, evoking memories and nostalgia from a bygone era.



Publication Date:



Hardback; 310 x 236mm


Colour photographs throughout

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