Who Is Alfred Munnings

Alfred Munnings is one of the worlds most famous painters of horses and also for war art.  He was born on 8th October 1878 in Suffolk where he grew up in a busy working mill surrounded by horses and horse drawn carts arriving daily to the premises.  At the age of fourteen he had an apprenticeship at a local printers designing and drawing posters and advertisements before attending the Norwich School Of Art.  When Alfred’s apprenticeship ended he decided to become a painter full time.  He began painting rural scenes mainly comprising of gypsies and horses, and even though he lost sight in his right eye his artwork and ability to paint was never affected.

Alfred Munnings volunteered to join the army but was assessed as unfit to fight in 1917.   He still maintained a position in the army taking on a role in the horse remount depot on the western front, here he began painting his work was noticed and he became appointed as a war artist to the Canadian cavalry, often working on his art a thousand yards from the German frontlines.

Alfred Munnings returned home and brought Castle House in 1919 describing it as the house of his dreams.  He used Castle House and its adjourning studio throughout his whole career and it was opened as an art museum in the 1960’s

Image credit: https://museums.eu/article/details/108518/daily-art-story-sir-alfred-munnings-the-painter-of-horses
Image credit: https://www.visitcolchester.com/thedms.aspx?dms=3&venue=0655941

The Museum

Alfred Munnings died in 1959 and his widow opened the doors to the house as a museum in 1962 after his request that his pictures and estate be left to the nation. The museum houses the largest amount of Alfred Munnings work worldwide.

There are 650 oil paintings on display, each one of these is framed and displayed in keeping with the era and displaying each beautiful painting perfectly. There are also 50 water colours on display which makes the total amount of 700 paintings displayed in beautiful frames the largest collection of his work in the world.

Also inside the museum you will find Mannings sketchbooks with over 3000 drawings and sketches, there are also paintings on display here that are on loan from private and personal collections.

As well as all of the beautiful artwork and frames on display there is also a large collection of furniture that Alfred Munnings collected dating back to the 17th Century.