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’.