The artistic movement now known as "St Ives" started in 1880. Inspired by the people, landscapes and lights of West Cornwall, the artists challenged the accepted Victorian styles, and still exert their influence today. This book describes how, throughout World War II and beyond, despite the deaths of many great painters, the movement continued to exist. The progressive art produced during this period was the achievement of many talented individuals. Tom Cross has also written "The Shining Sands: Artists in Newlyn and St Ives 1880-1930".
Tom Cross trained at the Slade School in London and then spent two years travelling and painting in Italy and France on Rome and French government scholarships. On his return he worked in Wales as Assistant Director of the Welsh Arts Council and later became Senior Lecturer in Painting at Reading University. In 1976 he became Principal of the Falmouth School of Art, a post which he held until 1987.