Museum’s new treasure is on display in exhibition

Mark Bills and Sophie Woods from Gainsborough's House with their latest acquisition. ANL-151205-130937001
Mark Bills and Sophie Woods from Gainsborough's House with their latest acquisition. ANL-151205-130937001

A Gainsborough painting kept in the same family for years, before being donated to the artist’s heritage museum in Sudbury, is now on show in an exhibition.

Called Great Art in Suffolk Museums, the exhibition involves art on display at five different museums in Suffolk, including Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury.

The original painting called Wooded Landscape with Old Peasant and Donkeys outside a Barn was owned by the family of MP Jervoise Clarke who died in 1808. He was an early owner of the painting, which was bought for just £7 in the mid-1700s.

The museum waited a year to get the painting while permission was given by the government for it to be bequeathed to the nation in lieu of tax.

The art exhibition, which opened on Saturday and runs until October 18, also involves Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich, Moyse’s Hall, Bury St Edmunds, National Horseracing Museum, Newmarket, and The Red House, Aldeburgh.

Mark Bills, director of Gainsborough’s House said: “We are thrilled to host this exhibition in partnership with museums based in Suffolk.

“We hope the legacy of this collaborative project will be to encourage our visitors to seek out these fantastic museums and discover the great art they house.

Great Art in Suffolk Museums reflects such a wide range of original, creative work and will surely attract many visitors to Sudbury,” he added.