LEADING ARTISTS from across the UK have helped raise over £100,000 towards the creation of a National Centre for Thomas Gainsborough (1727 – 1788) in Sudbury.
The Contemporary; Post War British Art Auction took place at Sudbury Town Hall on Friday 20th October. It featured 130 lots donated from artists including including Edward Bawden, Simon Chambers RA, Christopher Le Brun, Antony Gormley, Maggi Hambling, Patrick George, John Hoyland, David Inshaw, Sarah Lucas, Julian Opie and William Pye.
The event was supported by Colchester-based, Reeman Dansie Auctions – James Grinter, Managing Director, said he was delighted with how the auction went:
“We had a packed room on the night with over 200 people present, as well as over 150 online bidders. There was a real buzz to the bidding and Jonathan Benson our Auctioneer had a great time extracting every last penny for a great cause which we are delighted to have been associated with.”
Additional corporate support came from Nethergate Wines and Stoke Farm Orchards who sponsored the evening’s refreshments.
In addition, over 700 visitors enjoyed a week of free entry to Gainsborough’s House with the added opportunity to browse and buy an original work of art in the Autumn Art Fair. With works donated from members of Gainsborough’s House print workshop, the event raised a further £3,500 for the charity.
Mark Bills, Director of Gainsborough’s House, said:
“This was a terrific result and the level of support shown by artists from across the country to support our vision for a national centre has been quite overwhelming. Every bid made at the auction, and every work bought at the Fair, took us another step closer to delivering our transformation of Gainsborough’s House”.
With the results of this auction we have now secured £6.5 million towards our £7.7 million project. We have just less than six months to find the remaining £1.2 million and artists have really made a really positive step forward in closing this funding gap.
James Grinter (centre) and Jonathan Benson (right) of Reeman Dansie get the Art Auction underway at Sudbury Town Hall
Thomas Gainsborough (1727-88) was born in Sudbury and 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 for over 50 years. The beautiful historic garden at the heart of Gainsborough’s House is maintained by a devoted body of volunteers, who garden exclusively with plants that were available in Gainsborough’s lifetime.
Gainsborough’s House Society , Charity No. 1170048 and Company Limited by Guarantee No. 10413978