Constable show at Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich set to break records

Tobias Aldred (1) admires the Constable painting on show at Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich.

Tobias Aldred (1) admires the Constable painting on show at Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

A major new exhibition celebrating the works of John Constable opens on Saturday at Ipswich’s Christchurch Mansion.

The arrival earlier this year of the Suffolk artist’s Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows 1831 has already attracted 10,000 visitors in the past three months and Ipswich Council is hoping Constable’s Gardens: 200th Anniversary Exhibition proves just as popular after it opens on May 23.

The ‘Great Salisbury’, one of the artist’s favourite works, will remain on display at the Mansion’s Wolsey Art Gallery until early next year.

It had hoped that the Salisbury painting would attract 20,000 visitors over the year – so to have attracted half that number in just three months is a huge bonus.

Museum staff are working hard to keep the gallery as accessible as possible during preparations for the new exhibition, but there will be very limited access to the Wolsey Gallery today and tomorrow.

Constable’s Gardens sees major loans from the Fitzwilliam Museum, the V&A and Tate, which can be seen in the Wolsey Art Gallery alongside Ipswich’s own internationally renowned collection of paintings by the great artist.

Ipswich council’s leisure spokeswoman Bryony Rudkin said: “The ‘Great Salisbury’ painting has been a fantastic draw and we are really pleased with the number of visitors coming to the Mansion to see Constable’s greatest works.

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“Now we are delighted to be hosting a new exhibition – celebrating the bicentenary of two treasured artworks in the Borough Council’s collection alongside loans from Tate, V&A and the Fitzwilliam Museum.

“This exhibition will give visitors the chance to explore Constable as a person through the people and landscape that meant most to him.”