Gainsborough’s House transformation ‘another step closer’ after £100k raised at art auction

More than �100,000 was raised towards the Gainsborough's House transformation. Picture EMMA BRENNAN

More than �100,000 was raised towards the Gainsborough's House transformation. Picture EMMA BRENNAN - Credit: Archant

More than £100,000 was raised at an art auction to support a multi-million pound national centre for Thomas Gainsborough in Sudbury.

The Contemporary and Post-War British Art Auction took place at Sudbury Town Hall on Friday, October 20, and featured 130 lots from artists such as Edward Bawden, Christopher Le Brunm Antony Gormley and Maggie Hambling.

The results of the auction means that £6.5million has now been raised towards the £7.7m project for a transformation of the museum.

Plans for the creation of a national centre for the artist include four new galleries – a Gainsborough gallery, a landscape studio and learning zone with panoramic views over Sudbury, a community gallery and a major exhibition gallery.

James Grinter, managing director with Colchester-based Reeman Dansie Auctions, who supported the event, said: “We had a packed room on the night with over 200 people present, as well as over 150 online bidders.

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“There was a real buzz to the bidding and Jonathan Benson, our auctioneer, had a great time extracting every last penny for a great cause which we are delighted to have been associated with.”

Additional support came from Nethergate Wines and Stoke Farm Orchards, who sponsored the evening’s refreshments.

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A further £3,500 was raised from the Autumn Art Fair, with works donated by Gainsborough’s House print workshop.

Mark Bills, director of Gainsborough’s House, said the auction was a “positive step forward” in plugging the funding gap.

He said: “This was a terrific result and the level of support shown by artists from across the country to support our vision for a national centre has been quite overwhelming.

“Every bid made at the auction, and every work bought at the fair, took us another step closer to delivering our transformation of Gainsborough’s House.

“We are extremely grateful to all those individuals and businesses who have supported us.

“With the results of this auction we have now secured £6.5m towards our £7.7m project.

“We have just less than six months to find the remaining £1.2m and artists have really made a really positive step forward in closing this funding gap.”

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