Life and work of Munnings on display in Bungay

18 September, 2015 - 06:38
Dr Bill Teatheredge with an original Munnings' painting of gypsy woman Nelly Gray, which was on show at the preview.

Dr Bill Teatheredge with an original Munnings' painting of gypsy woman Nelly Gray, which was on show at the preview.


An exhibition on the life and work of the great Suffolk painter Sir Alfred Munnings is currently on show at St Mary’s Church in Bungay.

The exhibition opened with a preview evening last Friday when Dr Bill Teatheredge, honorary curatorial associate at the Munnings Art Museum at Dedham, gave an illustrated talk on Munnings’ early life, featuring music from the period.

The event was organised by the Friends of St Mary’s and the Bungay Tourism Committee, and was attended by the town mayor Olly Barnes and the town reeve Terry Reeve, who gave a vote of thanks.

Munnings was born in Mendham on October 8, 1878, and was the son of the local miller. He shared his father’s enthusiasm for horses and after attending evening classes at the Norwich School of Art, he set up a studio at his home.

He later became one of the world’s most celebrated painters of horses, as well as portraits and landscape subjects, which today fetch record prices at international auctions. He was also elected president of the Royal Academy in 1944, and was knighted the same year.

The talk was followed by a buffet, during which those in the large audience were able to view the exhibition.

Munnings was inspired in his work when he first visited Bungay Races, on Outney Common, on the day he had his first works accepted by the Royal Academy, and several of his early paintings featured the races there, and also scenes at the Bungay Horse Fairs held regularly during the early part of the 20th century.

Last Saturday local artist Malcolm Cudmore held workshops for children on how to draw horses, and on Sunday for adults who took the opportunity to draw in the spirit of Munnings.

An open day is being held tomorrow at Mendham Mill, where Munnings was born, from 10am to 4pm.

The exhibition at St Mary’s Church continues daily from 10am to 4pm until Sunday, with admission free but donations welcome.

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