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“A lovely couple of hours”

Gainsborough's House
Ranked #1 of 17 things to do in Sudbury
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Gainsborough’s House explores the life and art of Thomas Gainsborough. One of the greatest artists of his age, he is renowned throughout the world for his portrait and landscape paintings. The house, ‘a most excellent Brickt Mansion,’ was bought by John Gainsborough, the artist’s father, in May 1722. Thomas Gainsborough (1727-88) was born in Sudbury and was baptized there at the Independent Meeting-House in Friars Street on 14 May 1727. He lived here until around 1740 when, as a young teenager, he was sent to London to pursue a career as an artist. He returned to Sudbury in the spring of 1749 until 1752 when he painted his celebrated Mr and Mrs Andrews. He never lost the influence of his native town and county. ‘Nature was his teacher, and the woods of Suffolk his academy,’ noted an obituary after his death in 1788.
Haverhill, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“A lovely couple of hours”
Reviewed 28 April 2014

Although local, we have never visited this attraction before - it was quiet, peaceful and I thought the presentation was good. Although there aren't many of Gainsborough's "big" pictures here, I thought the most fascinating part was seeing some smaller chalk or pencil drawings which really showed his skills as an artist. The beautiful garden was an added bonus, although as it was quite chilly we drank our coffee in the little shop area. There are changing feature exhibitions in one space, so I'm sure we'll go back in the future.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank amwill57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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174 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
45 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Small but nice”
Reviewed 24 April 2014

Dropped in here when I had time to kill. Interesting house but doesn't contain original furniture. More like an art gallery. Staff were friendly. Interesting selection of artwork. Could do with more Gainsborough prints to purchase in shop.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank Maxine W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lichfield
Level Contributor
51 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Mixed review”
Reviewed 17 March 2014

Whilst I enjoyed looking at Gainsborough's life and work, I was a bit disappointed that there was too much about other artists and not enough about Gainsborough. The building was lovely to walk around.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank Chris B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Julia S, Museum Assistant at Gainsborough's House, responded to this review, 28 March 2014
Thank you for your comments, we're pleased that you enjoyed seeing the House. I was surprised though that you did not find enough attention paid to Thomas Gainsborough. We have 7 rooms of varying sizes dedicated to the life and art of Gainsborough. Two of these change regularly, one explores an element of his art in more depth (for example at the moment Gainsborough and the old Dutch masters), the other explores a theme related to Gainsborough or art in the period in which he lived (it currently it features Richard Wilson, a contemporary of Gainsborough who, like him, helped found the English landscape tradition).

From reading your thoughts I believe you may have missed one or more of the rooms of the House during your visit. If you would like to visit again, free of charge, then do please call so we can make sure you see the full range of Gainsborough's work on display.
- The Gainsborough's House team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level Contributor
159 reviews
84 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Delightful and pleasantly surprised!”
Reviewed 6 February 2014

It was delightful to find such an intimate gallery that is so important to our art heritage. There was a temporary exhibit to view first, so it's worth checking the website for what's on. Then the joy of looking round the house and paintings whilst learning about Gainsborough himself; very special and a delightful contrast to the large galleries I'm used to. It's so lovely to be close up and personal with some impressive paintings. I also enjoyed light refreshments in the coffee shop and a browse around the shop. My only request is for the shop to be bigger but I guess they make best use of available space. The garden is lovely but I didn't sit outside for long because of the weather. I hope to revisit when the next temporary exhibit is in place. Please note trip-advisor that this should be listed as 'Gainsborough's House.' Well worth a visit.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank Patricia H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Julia S, Museum Assistant at Gainsborough's House, responded to this review, 14 February 2014
Thank you for the feedback on your visit to Gainsborough's House. I'm so pleased you appreciated seeing Gainsborough's work in the unique context of his own home and enjoyed the temporary exhibition. This has since changed and will change again in the summer - see our website for more information. There is lots to see and should you like to visit again during the coming year I hope the weather is fine and you can stay a bit longer in the garden!
- The Gainsborough's House team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lavenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
218 reviews
75 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“A disappointment”
Reviewed 1 February 2014

We had anticipated home made cakes and buns and a variety of teas and coffees on offer, with a strong association with Gainsborough around us. Machine made coffee which was quite basic, topped up with hot water from an electric kettle, biscuits in small packets, and modern sketches and prints all round us. This place definitely needs a re think if it is to survive.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Michael W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Julia S, Museum Assistant at Gainsborough's House, responded to this review, 5 February 2014
Thank you for your comments. I am sorry that the cafe's catering and decor did not meet your expectations when you visited Gainsborough's House. We are considering how we improve it and aim to have a refit later this year. The shop and cafe area is in an adjacent building to the house in which Thomas Gainsborough lived, so it naturally has quite a different feel - the artworks here are created by members of our Print Workshop and are for sale. We also sell books, souvenirs and gifts relating to Gainsborough and wider Eighteenth century art history. I hope however, that you enjoyed seeing a wide variety of Gainsborough's artwork and learnt more about his life within the House. The permanent collection was redisplayed last year and there are now twice as many artworks on display, along with the current temporary exhibition 'Grand Collecting', a rare opportunity to see paintings and drawings from the Ford family collection. We have many more exhibitions and events planned over 2014 and beyond. If you would like to see the House again please let us know, so we can make your visit memorable for the right reasons.
- The Gainsborough's House team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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