Report on Gainsborough’s House Study Day

A member’s report, by Sue Foster, on our May Study Day, visiting Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury, 13th May 2015.


Our latest study day was at Gainsborough’s house in the picturesque town of Sudbury in Suffolk. Our host for the day was Steph who had to cover for many other members of staff who are currently sick. She did an amazing job of making us feel very welcome, giving us an excellent tour, and showing us the treasures of the treasure chest! We started in the beautiful gardens of the house, by the famous mulberry tree.



Gainsborough house has a very active fundraising policy, which has enabled them to have a commercial manager, a marketing manager and a development officer. They have a close relationship with the local council and are hoping to rebrand Sudbury as ‘Gainsborough Town’. They also have big plans for a redevelopment including a brand new building.


We started with a tour of the print studio, which is a real asset to the property as it encourages artists to come and learn and print in the well equipped studio. Provision for a purpose built studio has been made in the new development plans.



There were many interesting paintings, etchings and features to see in the house itself, which Steph brought to life with lots of facts and enthusiasm. It was great to be able to get really close to the paintings and see how the brush strokes were made to create the different textures of lace and cloth.


We then had a delicious lunch, followed by Steph showing us her very creative treasure chest.  There was an accompanying children’s story book, that I think gave us all food for thought about how we can use our collections. The treasure chest had many items in that Steph used to make excellent links to historical and modern day issues.


Thankyou very much to Steph, for a fascinating day at Gainsborough’s House, sharing her hard work and enthusiasm with us.