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Visitors to Thomas Churchyard exhibition asked to identify a mystery watermill in two rare pictures

PUBLISHED: 12:18 17 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:18 17 October 2018

The Watermill, by Thomas Churchyard Photo: John Day

The Watermill, by Thomas Churchyard Photo: John Day


Stunning works by Thomas Churchyard, one of Suffolk’s greatest artists, are currently on show at the East Anglian Traditional Art Centre, based in Wickham Market.

The Garden, Woodbridge, by Thomas Churchyard Photo: John DayThe Garden, Woodbridge, by Thomas Churchyard Photo: John Day

The current exhibition, ‘Artist on the Deben’, includes something of an artistic mystery. Among the mid-19th century works are two views of an unknown watermill, painted in about 1850. Churchyard, born in 1798, lived until 1865 and painted many view of the locality around Woodbridge, in oils and watercolours, but no-one seems to know exactly where this mill is.

John Day, curator of East Anglian Traditional Art Centre, wants to know if anyone can identify the mill or where it once stood – or maybe still stands.

Churchyard was strongly influenced by John Crome of Norwich and had mutual friends associated with John Constable, and collected the works of both artists. The works loaned for this Exhibition give an opportunity to assess some of the best works by this underrated artist, who was effectively an early Impressionist painter.

The exhibition also includes works such as View of a Garden, believed to be Cumberland Street, Woodbridge, this Oil on Panel is inscribed ‘TC’ and ‘Kate’, his daughter’s name, along with a watercolour of Ufford Church, painted in the 1840’s.

Ufford Church, by Thomas Churchyard Photo: John DayUfford Church, by Thomas Churchyard Photo: John Day

The East Anglian Traditional Art Centre opened in June 2017 and specialises in painters working in Norfolk and Suffolk between 1750 and 1950. Restoration and research is undertaken, and the centre has an extensive archive library of reference material and also holds a large permanent collection.

The Exhibition ‘Artist on the Deben’ dedicated to the works of local artist Thomas Churchyard of Woodbridge, runs at East Anglian Traditional Art Centre until October 27.

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