Colchester + Ipswich Museums are delighted to have joined forces with colleagues in Norwich to save an early masterpiece by the artist JM Turner.
Thanks to generous grants from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Art Fund, the museums consortium was able to intervene at the eleventh hour to buy the magnificent oil painting, Walton Bridges, one of the first of Turner’s works to be painted outdoors.
The painting was sold by Sotheby’s at auction, last summer, but a temporary export deferral led to the ambitious bid by Norwich Museums Service with the support of Colchester + Ipswich Museums Service.
Now, heritage chiefs are planning a regional tour for the work along with school workshops and learning programmes curated by community groups.
The painting will go on display in both Colchester and Ipswich for the public to enjoy at a future date.
Councillor Julie Young, Portfolio Holder for Culture and Performance and Deputy Leader of the Council, said: “I am delighted that Colchester Museums have played such a significant part in saving this historic painting for the nation.
“We are extremely grateful for the generous support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Art Fund without which this would not have been possible.”