The picture galleries were opened on the 18th April 1896. The main room used, shown here, was the former State Drawing Room. Through the doorway is the landing at the top of the main staircase.

Initially, pictures were loaned by the South Kensington Museum (the V&A) and the National Gallery. Ipswich Museum’s collection in the picture galleries consisted of Works of Art and virtu (curios) given by former Museum President Sir Richard Wallace. The art collection at Christchurch was gradually added to, including the two oil paintings first and third from the right on the upper part of the right hand wall. They are Bedruthen Steps, Cornwall and Fairy Glen, North Wales by William T. Griffiths, headmaster of the School of Art at High Street.

They were presented by his daughter, Mrs. A P Ridley, in 1918. The large painting below them is The Lizard by Duff Tollemache.

After its use as an Art Gallery this became the Late Seventeenth Century Room, the Mid-Eighteenth Century State Drawing Room, the Gainsborough Landscape Gallery, and more recently the Rococo Drawing Room.        

Bob Markham

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