Thomas Gainsborough (1727-88) was born in Sudbury and was baptised at the Independent Meeting-House in Friars Street on 14 May 1727, the fifth son and ninth child of John and Mary Gainsborough. In 1958 Gainsborough’s House Society was formed to purchase the house and establish it as a centre for Thomas Gainsborough. The Museum opened to the public in 1961 and has remained open ever since, operating as an independent charitable trust.
In 2019, the House commenced a transformational refurbishment with £10m invested into the site. For the first time in its history, the House closed its doors for 3 years to welcome this upgrade. The vision was to build upon the rich history of Gainsborough’s House while also making the museum experience more accessible, exciting for our visitors and to truly celebrate Gainsborough along with his followers and contemporaries. The museum aims to bring light to other Suffolk based artists like John Constable and Cedric Morris of whom greatly admired the works of Thomas Gainsborough.
The beautiful garden is at the heart of Gainsborough’s House. It is maintained by a devoted body of volunteers who exclusively cultivate plants that were available in Gainsborough’s lifetime; including a Mulberry Tree which is over 400 years old.