Museum celebrates one of Suffolk's most famous artists

Colchester + Ipswich Museums Service
A portrait of John Constable at the age of 20 by Daniel Gardner Credit: Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service

An exhibition exploring the work of John Constable, one of Suffolk’s most famous artists, is set to open at Christchurch Mansion In Ipswich.

The event, which runs from 27th November 2021 to 24th April 2022, coincides with the 200th anniversary of The Hay Wain, one of Constable’s most famous works.  

Completed in 1821, it depicts a rural scene on the River Stour at Flatford Mill on the Suffolk and Essex border.

The Hay Wain Credit: John Constable - painted in 1821

To mark the bicentenary, the ‘Creating Constable’ exhibition will explore 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.

Councillor 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.”

Four early Constable works recently acquired by Ipswich Museums, with support from the Friends of the Ipswich Museums, the Art Fund and the V&A Purchase Fund, will also be on public display for the first time.

The recently discovered artworks were found in a scrapbook compiled by Constable’s relations, the Masons in Colchester, and include a portrait of his brother Abram and early landscapes.