THE first major retrospective exhibiting work by late artist Norman Cornish has been so popular its run has been extended by three months.

The Bowes Museum, in Barnard Castle, has announced that Norman Cornish: The Definitive Collection exhibition, will run until May 17.

Norman Cornish retrospective opens at The Bowes Museum

Dedicated to the lifetime work of the acclaimed County Durham pitman painter, the exhibition features more than 70 works from public and private collections, some never shown publicly before.

Mr Cornish was a miner for more than 30 years and his work acts as a snapshot of a bygone time as he chronicled everyday life in mining communities, painting what he knew such as the pit road, the pub and surrounding streets.

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Curator Howard Coutts said: “The response we have had to this centenary celebratory exhibition has been outstanding; it’s drawn people into the museum from all over the country, many who are revisiting their own childhoods or that of their family, to those who are keen to see what life was like in the North East as Cornish captured it.

"It makes it all the more clear that Norman Cornish’s work follows in the footsteps of Breughel, Rembrandt and the Impressionists who also painted contemporary life.”