Cart Icon My Basket (empty)

About Your Visit

The Munnings Art Museum is at Castle House, the former home and working Studio of Sir Alfred Munnings PPRA (1878-1959) and his wife, Violet. The museum owns the largest collection of art made by this globally renown, prolific East Anglian artist and former President of the Royal Academy of Arts (1944-1949). The museum presents annual changing exhibitions of around 200 paintings, drawings and rare sculptures which often include important works borrowed from private and public collections. The furniture and objects around the house remain as they were when the artist and his wife were in residence. 

Castle House is set in forty acres of beautiful countryside in the Dedham Vale, on the borders of Essex and Suffolk. This elegant Tudor and Georgian building was described by Munnings as “the house of my dreams” and he lived and worked here for over forty years until his death in 1959. It was his wish to leave his home and collection of his life’s works to the nation. So it was, that in 1961 Violet Munnings created the Castle House Trust, an independent charity, to open and operate the Munnings Art Museum for the enjoyment of everyone.

Latest Exhibition

Munnings: Colour & Light

*Now closed* 5th April 2023 – 22nd October 2023

Alfred Munnings had a lifelong passion for seeing colour and light and an innate ability to capture these elements in his painting. Naturally gifted as a child, he honed his skills and gained the experience which made him one of the country’s foremost plein air painters.

In 2023, the special exhibition Alfred Munnings: Colour & Light takes you on his journey of discovery. With over forty paintings and much of the narrative in his own words the exhibition offers a very personal insight into his love of painting.

Past Exhibitions

Alfred Munnings: The Art of the Poster

6th April 2022 – 23rd October 2022

Image Alternative Text

In 1892, aged fourteen, Alfred Munnings moved from his home village of Mendham in Suffolk to the city of Norwich. He was apprenticed to the lithographic printers Page Bros. & Co., Ltd. where he learnt to design advertisements and posters. During the 1890s Munnings undertook work for large local companies such as Colman’s Mustard and Caley’s Crackers and Chocolates.

In 2022 the museum presented a vibrant display of this lesser known commercial work produced by Munnings during his teenage years which demonstrates his ability to capture the popular aesthetic of the belle epoque.

Yours With Love, AJ

2nd September 2020 to 6th November 2021

Image Alternative Text
When Alfred Munnings married his second wife Violet in April 1920 his reputation as a notable equestrian portraitist was flourishing. As a result of this he was frequently away from home for extended periods and he wrote home to his new wife of these experiences.

In 2021 the museum’s special exhibition showcases paintings from the early 1920s alongside original correspondence from that time.

Buy Yours With Love, AJ >>

Studio: Celebration of the 50th anniversary of Dedham Vale, Stour Valley and beyond, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

2nd September 2020 to 6th November 2021

Image Alternative Text
In 2020 and 2021 the studio is hosted “Constable’s Country” a display featuring 30 studies and finished paintings by Alfred Munnings of the Dedham Vale, Stour Valley and beyond to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Behind the Lines:
Alfred Munnings, War Artist, 1918

23rd March to 3rd November 2019

Image Alternative Text
In 1918 Alfred Munnings was appointed as a war artist in France for the Canadian Cavalry Brigade and later for the Canadian Forestry Corps. At the war’s end his paintings from France were bought by the Canadian government and are now in the collection of the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.

In the centenary year of their first exhibition at the Royal Academy, London in 1919, the Munnings Art Museum is privileged to have on loan from Canada forty-one of these war paintings. The vibrant colours and painterly style of these works is a striking contrast to the familiar black and white images of World War I. It is a rare opportunity to see these works, alongside sketches and paintings from The Munnings Art Museum’s own collection.

Munnings’ war works were much admired at the time and proved to be pivotal in the development of his career, helping to transform him from a successful provincial artist to one of international renown.

In his later life Sir Alfred Munnings reflected “I have often wondered had there been no 1914-18 war whether painting people on horseback would have absorbed the greater part of my efforts in the years that followed”.

The exhibition has been developed by the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, in partnership with The Munnings Art Museum and generously supported by The Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation.

Buy Behind the Lines>>

Studio: Painting Winners

23 March to 3 November 2019

Image Alternative Text
In the garden, visitors will find Munnings’ studio which houses his painting materials and props. This season the studio is hosting “Painting Winners” a display featuring 30 studies and finished paintings from the racecourses at Epsom and Newmarket by Sir Alfred Munnings.

Adjoining the studio is the Café serving delicious homemade treats. The museum shop has a range of books, unique gifts and souvenirs.

Studio: Inspired by Behind the Lines

16 October to 3 November 2019

A selection of contemporary paintings by some of the UK and Ireland’s leading equestrian and plein air painters. Inspired by the First World War paintings of Sir Alfred Munnings and available to buy.

Read more about the artists and their work >>