Fundrais­ing bid com­mences to house evoca­tive art­work col­lec­tion

Country Smallholding - - November News -

HUN­DREDS OF evoca­tive art­works by artist Ge­orge Soper (1870-1942), many de­pict­ing farm­ing and ru­ral life, as well as the work­ing horse, could soon be housed in a pur­pose-built ed­u­ca­tion cen­tre and art gallery in Suf­folk, along with works by his two daugh­ters, Eva and Eileen, the lat­ter an il­lus­tra­tor of Enid Bly­ton books.

How­ever, the Soper Col­lec­tion, a char­i­ta­ble trust, has to raise £600,000 by 20 Novem­ber in or­der to se­cure the seven-acre site near Laven­ham, which will re­quire restora­tion and re­fur­bish­ment.

A new art gallery and ed­u­ca­tion cen­tre on the site would al­low the char­ity to ex­hibit 700 of the fam­ily’s works in ro­ta­tion from the col­lec­tion built up by Joy Baker and her late hus­band, John.

The Sop­ers were reclu­sive small­hold­ers who lived at Wild­ings in ru­ral Hert­ford­shire, which boasted four acres of land where they kept an­i­mals. In the pur­suit of his art, Ge­orge im­mersed him­self in the daily work of agri­cul­tural labour­ers. The story of his art is that the land is wild and man strug­gles con­stantly to try and tame and cul­ti­vate it.

The on­line ap­peal can be found at www.the­sop­er­col­lec­tion.org/ do­na­tions-soper- col­lec­tion/

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