Artists' Connections

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The Sir Alfred Munnings Art Museum, Dedham

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The Sir Alfred Munnings Art Museum in Castle House, Dedham in the heart of Constable Country and the Dedham Vale (AONB), is the home where Sir Alfred Munnings KCVO lived for 40 years. Sir Alfred Munnings is most well known for his equestrian art, but he also painted a wide range of other subjects and he was an accomplished sculptor. His home showcases his paintings, drawings and sketches representing his life's work and visitors can wander around the house and gardens. There is also a fascinating little studio, where he worked and his paintbrushes and other things have been left as if he has just stepped outside for a bit of fresh air. It's very atmospheric and gives some insight into the artist. Castle House and grounds are open to the public from April – end October  Wednesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays.  Please check the website to confirm opening times before your visit.  There is a small cafe selling a good selection of homemade cakes and light lunches and many events take place at the Sir Alfred Munnings Art Museum throughout the year. These events including painting workshops, children's events, Christmas events and even demonstrations of how to ride side saddle! Contact The Sir Alfred Munnings Art Museum, Castle House, Dedham, CO7 6AZ T: 01206 322127 W: www.siralfredmunnings.co.uk   Top photo ©David Burton | bottom photo ©Showcapture Save

Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury

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This is the birthplace of Thomas Gainsborough RA (1727-88) and the house dates back to the 16th century. Now a museum and gallery, the house has many of the original works of Thomas Gainsborough, more than any other gallery outside of London, and some memorabilia from his life. There is an attractive walled garden with a wonderful, 400 year old mulberry tree. There is a varied programme of exhibitions of both historic British and contemporary art and a print workshop which is open to the general public and where you can learn some new skills on courses that run throughout the year. There is a gift shop and coffee shop and tea may be taken in the garden when the weather is fine. Gainsborough's House is open all year Monday - Saturday, 10-5. Closed Suns, Good Friday and 24th Dec - New Year inclusive. Contact Gainsborough's House, 46 Gainsborough Street, Sudbury CO10 2EU T: 01787 372958 W: www.gainsborough.org

Bridge Cottage, Flatford

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Set in the glorious landscape of the Dedham Vale (AONB), the 16th century Bridge Cottage houses an exhibition about the life and work of John Constable. There are guided walks in the summer with National Trust guides who will show you the sites of some of Constable's most famous paintings. You can walk up the lane to look at Flatford Mill (not open to general public, but you can attend a course there on art, conservation and photography) and to see where the Hay Wain and Willy Lott's Cottage were painted. The area is remarkably unchanged since the time John Constable lived there and you can see why he loved the area so much and found so much inspiration here. You can row a boat along the River Stour to the nearby village of Dedham, in the summer or you can take the same route that the young John Costable took when he walked across the fields every day to school. For opening times of Bridge Cottage, please visit the National Trust website. Contact National Trust, Bridge Cottage, Flatford Lane, Flatford, East Bergholt, CO7 6UL T: 01206 298260 W: www.nationaltrust.org.uk Additional information Wheelchair access, Electric buggy available, National Trust tearoom and shop