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Creating Constable Exhibition

The ‘Creating Constable’ exhibition, explores the work of one of Suffolk’s most famous artists – John Constable and opens at Christchurch Mansion’s Wolsey Art Gallery from 27 November 2021 to 24 April 2022.  The exhibition coincides with the 200th anniversary of The Hay Wain, one of Constable’s most famous works. It is also 200 years since the death of Suffolk artist George Frost, who was Constable’s early mentor.

Golding Constables Flower Garden 1815 Oil on canvas

Find out more about Constable’s family and friends

To mark this significant bicentenary, the ‘Creating Constable’ exhibition explores Constable’s artistic roots, revealing stories about Suffolk artists, family, friends, and early supporters who provided him with the foundations on which his career was built.

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.

The research behind the exhibition has been supported by funding from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and support for the exhibition has also been provided by the Friends of the Ipswich Museums and Kerseys Solicitors.

The Deserted Cottage watercolour in pen and grey ink by John Constable in c.1796-7

See works by other notable Suffolk Artists

As well as works by Constable, visitors will also be able to view pieces by other notable Suffolk artists, including Thomas Gainsborough, George Frost, John Dunthorne, Elizabeth Cobbold and Thomas Churchyard.

Today, Ipswich holds the largest collection of works by Frost in any public collection with over 300 drawings and paintings. This will be the first time in many years that these collections have been on display and the first time that they have been digitised for online access, reaching a wider audience than ever before.

George Frost (17445–1821) Wolsey’s Gate in Ipswich, watercolour on paper

Key loans from the V&A collections will be included which show Ipswich in the 1800s, as well as artworks from the East Anglian Traditional Art Centre depicting the influence of Constable.

Find out more about the Creating Constable exhibition and how to visit

Discover more about John Constable and where he painted in Suffolk in these blogs:-

Constable and Gainsborough: Suffolk’s landscape masters

Constable Country: What to do, where to stay and what to see