Creating Constable exhibition unveiled at Christchurch Mansion

Creating Constable Exhibition Christchurch Mansion Ipswich. Carol Jones, Portfolio Museum Councillor

Cllr Carol Jones at the Creating Constable exhibition in Ipswich. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Four unseen works by one of Suffolk's most famous and celebrated artists - John Constable - go on display at Christchurch Mansion today.

‘Creating Constable’ explores the works of the East Bergholt-born artist, who was highly influenced by his childhood in Suffolk and the neighbouring Essex countryside, counties which he immortalised in landscape paintings.

Creating Constable Exhibition Christchurch Mansion Ipswich. Pictures : Brittany Woodman

Creating Constable Exhibition Christchurch Mansion Ipswich. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Constable's love of East Anglia was evident in his work and he famously said: “I should paint my own places best.”

This exhibition marks the 200th anniversary of one of his most famous paintings, The Hay Wain and explores Constable’s artistic roots by revealing stories about Suffolk artists, family, friends, and early supporters who provided him with the foundations on which to build a career. 

Creating Constable Exhibition Christchurch Mansion Ipswich. Left, Carol Jones, Councillor, Charlotte

Creating Constable Exhibition Christchurch Mansion Ipswich. Left, Cllr Carol Jones, Charlotte Gay, Exhibition officer, Connor Welham Digital Collections, Grace Roberts, Exhibitions display assistant, Stepehanie Collins, exhibition display trainee and Emma Roodhouse Collections and Learning Curator. Pictures : Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Cllr Carole Jones, Ipswich Borough Council’s museums service portfolio holder, said: “2021 is a significant year for the great painter, John Constable, and this exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to highlight his work and the wider Ipswich art collection – giving the people of our town an opportunity to see works by some of Suffolk’s most famous artists.”

Among them are works by Constable’s early mentor and fellow Suffolk artist, George Frost, known for his paintings and drawings of the land in and around Ipswich. 

Four early works by Constable will be on display for the first time, after being discovered in a scrapbook compiled by his relations, the Masons, in Colchester. They include a portrait of his younger brother, Abram, and three early landscapes.

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These have been recently acquired by Ipswich Museums with the support of Friends of the Ipswich Museums, the Art Fund and the V&A Purchase Fund.

Creating Constable Exhibition Christchurch Mansion Ipswich. Carol Jones, Portfolio Museum Councillo

Cllr Carol Jones at the new exhibition with Emma Roodhouse, collections and learning curator. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Visitors will also be able to view pieces by other well-known Suffolk artists, including Thomas Gainsborough, John Dunthorne and Elizabeth Cobbold.

Richard Wilson, chairman of the Friends of the Ipswich Museums, said: “We are delighted to be supporting this important exhibition. It features many works from Ipswich’s own collections, and celebrates how the career of Suffolk artist John Constable, who changed how we look at landscape, was shaped by other local artists, many of whom have been overlooked.”

The exhibition will run until April 24, 2022.
 

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