Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury to hold art auction in aid of multi-million pound plans

Gainsborough's House

Gainsborough's House - Credit: Archant

A prestigious contemporary and post-war art auction will take place in Sudbury to raise further funding needed to transform a town museum.

An artist's impression of how the Landscape Studio in the new Gainsborough's House extension will lo

An artist's impression of how the Landscape Studio in the new Gainsborough's House extension will look. The image was one that helped to get architects ZMMA the contract to design the £8.5million project. - Credit: Archant

Gainsborough’s House has secured £6.5million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and private donors for the renovation of the famous artist’s historic home and construction of a landmark three-storey national centre.

This will feature four expansive new galleries – a Gainsborough gallery, a landscape studio and learning zone with panoramic views over Sudbury, a community gallery and a major exhibition gallery.

The museum still needs to find £1.25m by March next year and the auction of rare paintings, prints and sculpture will be in aid of the house’s major transformation.

The scheme has the backing of high-profile celebrities including Griff Rhys Jones, American Vogue editor Anna Wintour and Lloyd Grossman – who will also deliver a lecture at St Peter’s Church in Sudbury on September 27 to support the project.

Griff Rhys-Jones, who is backing the project.

Griff Rhys-Jones, who is backing the project. - Credit: Archant

The new centre is expected to bring millions of pounds into Sudbury, according to an assessment using the Association of Independent Museums (AIM) and the Archives, Libraries and Museums Alliance UK economic value calculation rules.

Mark Bills, director of Gainsborough’s House, said: “It’s going quite well, but we still need to raise £1.25m and have until March 14 to find that amount of money.

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“We are still awaiting some funding decisions, but we still need money and hope that people will continue to be generous.

“It’s really caught people’s imagination on a national level as well as a local one, which is great for us.

Anna Wintour (L) and Nicole Farhi (R) at Gainsborough's House with the bust of Gainsborough created

Anna Wintour (L) and Nicole Farhi (R) at Gainsborough's House with the bust of Gainsborough created by Farhi - Credit: Archant

“We’re very grateful for all the local support which has been tremendous and we certainly couldn’t have got this far without them.”

Mr Bills added that an exhibition – where people can see the new plans and some of objects which will be on display in the new centre – will open in October.

The art auction, which will take place at Sudbury Town Hall on Friday, October 20, from 6.30pm for a 7pm start and will feature around 140 lots donated from the estates and studios of some of Britain’s greatest artists.

Tickets are £25 per person, which includes refreshments. For more information click here.

Artist Maggie Hambling. Picture SARAH LUCY BROWN

Artist Maggie Hambling. Picture SARAH LUCY BROWN

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