Mark Bills to step down as Director of Gainsborough’s House

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A portrait of Mark Bill sstood in front of his book shelf. The image was taken by Anne Purkiss.

Mark Bills to step down as Director of Gainsborough’s House


Mark Bills is leaving Gainsborough’s House, where he has been Director for just over a decade.

He will step down on 11 August 2023 to begin a research project in Victorian art in which he is a specialist.

During his time as Director, he initiated and delivered the capital project, Reviving an Artist’s Birthplace: A National Centre for Gainsborough. The House re-opened to critical acclaim and huge public interest in November 2022, and is attracting record numbers of visitors.

Mark Bills said:

Working at Gainsborough’s House over the last ten years has been a hugely rewarding experience, initiating and leading its transformation. It has now re-opened and working well, and it is time for me to face a new challenge, and for a new Director to take the museum forward for the next decade. The aim of the project was to better deliver our mission, be more sustainable and to make a positive impact on the town, which it has done and I am grateful to my colleagues and to the huge number of supporters who helped to make this happen.

Christy Stewart-Smith, Chairman of Gainsborough’s House, said: “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Mark for his extraordinary achievement in leading this landmark campaign to reopen Gainsborough’s House, bringing a whole new generation of visitors to this unique piece of living art history. As we move forward, we are safe in the knowledge that Gainsborough’s House, with its spacious new gallery and state of the art conditions, will at last be able to provide a world class environment worthy of the work of one of this country’s greatest and most loved artists.”