The project was completed and the new national centre for Thomas Gainsborough opened on 21 November 2022.

The project includes plans for a community gallery where visitors can view a vibrant, contemporary response to Gainsborough, Sudbury and Suffolk, by artists in the region, created in the Gainsborough print studio and in outreach projects. This project has the potential to make a significant contribution to the cultural life and community spirit of the town.

James Cartlidge, MP for South Suffolk

Artist's impression of Redevelopment at Gainsborough's House
An image of the National Lottery Heritage Fund logo, in colour.

Aims of the project

Reviving an Artist’s Birthplace seeks to attract visitors not only from East Anglia and London, but across England and abroad. Nowhere else in the world will such a wide collection of Gainsborough’s art and works by those he inspired, be seen in a single setting.

The project will see the renovation and redisplay of the historic house to interpret, entertain and inspire around the artist, his family and social context.

A new, landmark three-storey structure will replace an empty local authority building located on a brown-field site adjacent to the house. It will provide spaces for exhibitions, displays and learning with four new galleries –a showcase Gainsborough gallery, a landscape studio with panoramic views over Sudbury, a community gallery and a temporary exhibition gallery/performance space.

The project will give more access to the entirety of Gainsborough’s work, including his highly original and innovative work as a printmaker. It will also showcase works after Gainsborough that illustrate the widespread influence of his work on other artists.

A new orangery-style café overlooking the beautiful eighteenth-century garden, will enhance the visitor experience and boost venue hire, along with improved shopping facilities and a varied programme of talks and concerts.

The project will highlight Gainsborough’s widespread influence on the next generation of landscape artists particularly John Constable (1776–1837). With the long-term loan of the Constable family’s collection on display, the museum will provide the only gallery space to see the landscapes of Constable in the vicinity of ‘Constable Country’.

We would particularly like to thank the following donors for their generous support of the project:
Timothy & Mary Clode; The George John & Sheilah Livanos Charitable Trust; Babergh District Council; The Lord Belstead Charitable Trust; The Finnis Scott Foundation; Lowell Libson; The Trustees of Gainsborough’s House Society; The Band Trust; J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust; Sir Siegmund Warburg’s Charitable Settlement.

Other generous supporters of the project include:
Loyd Grossman OBE; Griff Rhys Jones; Maggi Hambling CBE; Dame Anna Wintour; Nicole Farhi OBE.

We are also grateful to:
John Ellerman Foundation, The Pilgrim Trust, John Beale, Suffolk County Council and Sudbury Town Council for supporting the museum.