Mark Bills – Director of Gainsborough’s House 60 second interview

Mark Bills - Director of Gainsborough's House 60 second interview
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  • Posted by: Castleacre

The National Centre for Thomas Gainsborough is a transformational project that will not only safeguard Gainsborough’s Grade I-listed childhood home and garden but also promises to be hugely beneficial to his home town of Sudbury, in Suffolk. Having won a large grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Mark and his team are now in the process of securing further match funding for the project but he has a great track record in delivering bold museum projects with his transformation of the Watts Gallery in Surrey.

He explains the aim of the national centre ‘is to improve access to the most comprehensive collection of Gainsborough’s art, bringing alive to a wider audience a greater range of his works in a new showcase gallery; as well as exploring his life in the special atmosphere of his home. ‘

Gainsborough's House - portrait of Viscountesor

In our 60 second interview Mark shares some of the things he loves about his role:

What’s the best thing about your job?

The best thing is undoubtedly making a difference. Seeing a place develop and grow with building momentum. It has been particularly rewarding at Gainsborough’s House when we have come such a long way in the last few years and are at the brink of a £7.5 million development, to create a major visual arts venue for Suffolk. The support has been terrific, for which I am really grateful.

Worst moment of your day?

Before coffee

Favourite painting/object to take home?

A very difficult one. I suppose that it would be one of Gainsborough’s little ‘Dutch Landskips’

Most exciting discovery

Some very revealing details of Gainsborough’s early life (yet to be published).

Favourite public building (anywhere)?

Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni in Venice

Most over-used expression at work?


What has surprised you most about your current role?

How different each day is. I suppose that the enthusiasm and good will of people surprises me in a very positive way.

Click on this link National Centre for Thomas Gainsborough to find out more and help this major capital project happen.

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