The Munnings Art Museum is at Castle House, the former home of the artist Sir Alfred Munnings (1878-1959) and his wife, Violet. Described by Munnings as ‘the house of my dreams’, he lived and worked in this elegant Tudor and Georgian building for over forty years until his death in 1959. The House, garden, artist’s studio and Garden Café are set in forty acres of beautiful countryside in the Dedham Vale on the borders of Suffolk and Essex. The museum owns the largest collection of art works by this prolific East Anglian painter and former President of the Royal Academy (1944-1949).
Alfred Munnings is considered to be a major figure in the great tradition of British horse painting and is celebrated for his depiction of English rural life and landscapes. The museum’s carefully curated displays ensure that there is always a fully representative selection of his art on display, ranging from his childhood drawings to last works. Visitors to the museum have the opportunity to experience Munnings’ passion for the rural traditions and landscapes of East Anglia and Cornwall which he captured on canvas and develop an understanding of the talent and skill he used to convey the explosive energy of the racing scenes for which he is now globally renowned.
In the main rooms of the museum around 150 pictures are hung chronologically so that visitors can better understand the life and work of the artist. The furniture, objects and personal items belonging to Sir Alfred and Lady Munnings remain in situ and the museum welcomes visitors to sit and enjoy the ambience of their home.