Life with Art: Benton End and the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing

Exhibitions: FREE

(No booking required)

Life with Art: Benton End and the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing

Saturday 11 December 2021 - Monday 18 April 2022 | 10:00 am - 5:00 pm


Cedric Morris in His Garden, c.1957 (oil on board), Morgan, Glyn (1926-2015) / Ipswich Borough Council Museums and Galleries, Suffolk, UK / © the estate of Glyn Morgan / Bridgeman Images

Photo by Lucy Skellorn Courtesy of the Benton End House & Garden Trust

Medlar and Corydalis: Cedric Morris’s veteran medlar tree underplanted with springtime Corydalis cava (bulbosa) in the walled garden at Benton End. Credit: Matt Collins

Established by artist-gardener Cedric Morris and his partner Arthur Lett-Haines, the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing at Benton End became the centre of a diverse community of artists, writers, and horticulturalists throughout the 1940s and 1950s. With no distinction between amateur or professional, Morris and Lett-Haines believed everyone could be creative.

This exhibition, created in collaboration with the Colchester Art Society, showcases the inspiring role Benton House played in influencing the artists who lived and worked there, celebrating the beauty of the East Anglian scenery and the importance of creative spaces.

Explore over 100 artworks by the artists and cultural figures with links to Benton End, including Lucian Freud, Maggi Hambling, John Nash, and Frances Hodgkins, along with works by Morris and Lett-Haines.

Be inspired by this diverse selection of paintings, sculptures, etchings and drawings in this interactive exhibition which examines Benton End’s remarkable, inclusive, artistic environment and ethos.

Explore your own creativity with opportunities to create your own artworks in the exhibition, and experience the benefits that making and experiencing art can bring to our wellbeing


Share with a friend:

You might also like...



@background_bob and his amazing friends – guess who’s back!

Saturday 18 September 2021 - Sunday 9 January 2022

10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Young Essex artist Background Bob returns with a brand-new exhibition, showcasing over 200 stunning artworks by leading international street and graffiti artists, tattooists, sculptors and fine artists.

Find out more



Sculpture at Firstsite

Saturday 20 November 2021 - Sunday 27 November 2022

See artworks by artists Sarah Lucas, Ryan Gander, Julian Opie and Bharti Kher in our new sculpture park As part of our 10th anniversary, six works have been installed in the lawns and grounds surrounding Firstsite: The fallow (Bharti…

Find out more
Welcome area at Firstsite. 'Big Hello' (2018) Peter Liversidge. Photo by Jayne Lloyd.

Join our mailing list

Sign up to our mailing list to receive the latest updates from Firstsite.