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This short history of the society was written in 1999 to celebrate the 125th anniversary of its founding as the Ipswich Fine Art Club.

The Ipswich Art Society is one of Suffolk's foremost exhibiting organisations for painters, sculptors and printmakers and one which has played a distinguished role in the cultural life of Suffolk's county town for a century and a quarter. Indeed, outside of London itself, it can claim to be one of the longest established art-societies in the country.

Its 125th anniversary is being celebrated with two exhibitions in Christchurch Mansion during July, August, September and October of works by members past and present. Also with this year's Annual Open Exhibition at the Robert Cross Hall which was at the end of May and a Print Fair in the Tourist Information Centre in April. Perhaps even more propitiously there has been the launch by the Society of the "ART at Saint Nicholas" project in July.

All of which makes it an appropriate time to look back at how the Society began, how it developed and how it changed over the years. What follows in no way pretends to be a comprehensive history. Hopefully, it will provide some context and background for the wide variety of artworks being displayed this year in the Society's name.


1. Early Days

2. In High Street

3. Special Exhibitions

4. End Of An Era

5. End Of An Era 2

6. New Beginnings

7. Consolidation

8. ART at St Nicholas

9. Postscript

founder member