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The Mining Art Gallery will include works by 'pitman painter' Norman Cornish (1919-2014), the most famous of the mining artists from the area. Other artists whose work will be on show include Tom McGuinness and Bob Olley. 

Cornish was born in Spennymoor, Co. Durham and became a miner aged 14. He worked in four mines over 33 years. 

He joined the Spennymoor Sketching Club and painted pictures of the local collieries, later exhibiting at the Northern Academy and the Stone Gallery in Newcastle. He eventually became a full-time artist at the age of 47.

Recently some of his works have fetched more than £15,000 at auction. 

In July, a work by Cornish, General Bar Scene Spennymoor, sold at Tennants in Leyburn, Yorkshire for £16,000 to a private buyer from Co. Durham. Also in the July sale Figures before Eddy’s Fish and Chip Shop sold for £8000.

It is just shy of the £16,500 bid for A street scene in Spennymoor which sold at Newcastle saleroom Anderson & Garland back in March 2010. In 2015 Two men and a whippet at a bar sold at £14,000 at Tennants in March 2015.

The new museum is set to open on October 21.