From Romantic painter John Constable, known for his landscapes around Dedham, to sculptor Maggi Hambling, East Anglia has always been rich with inspiration for the creative industries. There's annual literature festivals, such as Felixstowe Book Festival, and celebrations of music at the Aldeburgh Festival, but with plenty of museums, galleries and stately homes on our doorstep, there's always a new exhibition for art lovers to rejoice in.
This summer Cambridge galleries seem to be having an embroidery resurgence as
Kettle's Yard share their Material Power: Palestinian Embroidery exhibition and The Fitzwilliam Museum showcases a range of textiles from across the Mediterranean and explores practices that connect them in their Mediterranean Embroideries display. Both exhibitions run until the end of October, so we'd recommend a summer picnic on Jesus Green before whiling away the afternoon in the museum.
A hop, skip and a jump through Bridge End Gardens and less than a three minute walk from The Eight Bells is The Fry Gallery, Saffron Walden. Drawing from their permanent collection, Art and Design highlights the contribution the artists have made to British design.
If you've been walking or paddle boarding along the River Deben be sure to stop by The Munnings Art Museum, Dedham, to see their special collection Munnings: Colour & Light. The former home of Sir Alfred Munnings has an abundance of his paintings, from river scenes and portraits to his most well-known subject, horses.
It's all about 3D artwork in Norfolk this summer! Houghton Hall, near Fakenham, has a new artist residency in the form or world-renowned sculptor Sean Scully until October. Past exhibitors have included Damien Hirst and Henry Moore, to name a couple, and with The Houghton Art Foundation maintaining links to colleges and public institutions across our region, the Foundation’s aim is for Houghton Hall to become a focus for those who wish to see great art of our time in their extensive grounds and impressive interiors.
We're also thrilled to hear that there will be an exciting new art trail covering over 250 miles beginning this summer. The Norfolk Way Art Trail "features multi-sensory, accessible public artworks that will engage local communities, reveal hidden stories, and inspire visitors to explore the county".
We felt privileged to be invited to view the latest Art For Cure sculpture exhibition at Helmingham Hall, near Stowmarket, on a sun-filled day earlier this month. The exhibition consists of over 200 sculptures by fifty artists, from regional to internationally acclaimed, and is raising money for breast cancer research and support services. Situated in Helmingham's superb gardens and included in the general admission ticket price, this is a must-visit this summer.
From sculptures to graffiti, West Suffolk is playing host to The Urban Frame: Mutiny In Colour at multiple locations including Moyses Hall, Bury St Edmunds and National Racehorse Museum, Newmarket, until October. Works by Banksy, Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst are included in the exhibition of over 250 contemporary pieces.
Finally, from graffiti to Rococo, newly refurbished and a short drive from The Black Lion in Long Melford, Gainsborough's House, Sudbury, once home to Thomas Gainsborough is now open to the public and displaying three exhibitions of his life's work.
To make the most of your time exploring exhibitions around our region be sure to make a table reservation at one of our pubs or stay a little while longer. Check availability here.