Leading artists get behind Gainsborough’s House transformation project in Sudbury

An art auction is taking place in support of the Gainsborough's House project. Picture EMMA BRENNAN

An art auction is taking place in support of the Gainsborough's House project. Picture EMMA BRENNAN - Credit: Archant

Leading artists from across the UK are supporting a multi-million pound transformation of a Sudbury museum by donating work for an auction in aid of the project.

Griff Rhys Jones, who is supporting the project. Picture: SU ANDERSON

Griff Rhys Jones, who is supporting the project. Picture: SU ANDERSON - Credit: Su Anderson

Gainsborough’s House – the birthplace and childhood home of Thomas Gainsborough – has already secured £6.5million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and private donors for the renovation and construction of a national centre for the artist.

But the museum still needs to find £1.25m for the project, which will feature 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.

Spearheaded by Suffolk artist Maggi Hambling and art critic Andrew Lambirth, the contemporary and post-war British art auction will feature 130 lots donated from the estates and studios of some of Britain’s finest artists.

Maggi Hambling CBE, a patron of Gainsborough’s House, whose painting North Sea Rolling is in the auction, said: “As a child, my first experience of seeing great painting took place at Gainsborough’s House.

The art auction will take place on Friday, October 20. Picture: GAINSBOROUGH'S HOUSE

The art auction will take place on Friday, October 20. Picture: GAINSBOROUGH'S HOUSE - Credit: Archant


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“My eyes were opened and I regard that visit as seminal in my desire to become an artist.

“Gainsborough is indisputably of huge historic significance but perhaps more importantly, his work inspires artists of today and will continue to inspire those of the future.”

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The £8.7m scheme has the backing of high-profile celebrities including Griff Rhys Jones, American Vogue editor Anna Wintour and Lloyd Grossman.

Mark Bills, director of Gainsborough’s House, said: “Here is a unique opportunity to bid for contemporary and post-war paintings, prints and sculpture rarely seen in the market place, safe in the knowledge that every bid made will take us another step closer to delivering our transformation of Gainsborough’s House.”

The contemporary and post-war British art auction, supported by Reeman Dansie auctioneers and Nethergate Wines, will take place at Sudbury Town Hall on Friday, October 20, from 6.30pm.

Tickets are priced at £25, including refreshments and catalogue, and are available now from 01787 372958 or by emailing jackieb@gainsborough.org

Viewing of key works takes place at Gainsborough’s House from October 14-19.

The online auction is now open and is available by clicking here.

More details are available on the Gainsborough’s House website by clicking here.

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