PLEASE DONATE TO US
Join us on our exciting journey to provide a permanent, public home for the works of the Soper family.
Due to the tight timeframe that was offered to us, we were unable to raise the money to buy the proposed site for The Soper Collection Art Gallery and Education Centre at Brandeston Hall Farm Barns outside Lavenham.
However, we are very pleased to say that we are exploring all possible opportunities to display The Soper Collection thanks to the exposure of the website and the involvement and enthusiasm of so many wonderful donors and interested parties.
All donations, which have been most gratefully received, are being kept in total for such further opportunity.
Our pursuit of a permanent venue for The Soper Collection is ongoing. Understandably, progress is somewhat inhibited at present by the pandemic situation. Nonetheless, with guidance and advice from the Arts Council England and Art Fund, we are continuing to make forward moves towards an appropriate outcome for the public to experience the wide-ranging vibrancy of the glorious artwork.
Our aim is to enable the work of this talented family to be taken to heart by the general public, both in the United Kingdom and further afield. The clear brilliance of the Sopers’ work is well understood by critics and art lovers who have had the privilege to view the family’s work in exhibitions and sales.
Our aim is to make the collection available for all to enjoy.
It is hoped The Soper Collection will be shown in East Anglia or elsewhere, illustrating the richness and variety of the countryside which gave inspiration to the Soper family.
The aim is to provide space for workshops, classes and lectures to educate and encourage future generations of artists, as well as art, history, country and wildlife lovers.
Join us on our exciting journey to provide a permanent public home for the works of the Soper family.
With your help, this unique collection will inspire the public and generations of artists to be uplifted by and to learn from the styles and techniques employed by this reclusive and remarkable family.
The Soper Collection, comprehensively comprising original pieces in oil, watercolour, etchings, woodcuts, pencil, ink and other media, was compiled by John Baker and his wife Joy.
Following the hospitalisation of Eva and Eileen in 1989, the content of the Sopers’ family home was discovered to reveal a treasure trove of original artwork. After Eileen and Eva’s death later in 1990, their joint wills stipulated that each piece should be sold in order to raise funds for the Artists’ General Benevolent Institution. It was an initial exhibition in Lavenham in 1990 of George Soper’s working horse artwork that captured Joy’s attention. John was insistent that the entire collection should not be broken up and together they arranged to purchase 16 pieces.
The couple continued to purchase pieces as more of George Soper’s artwork was released. Soon Eileen’s work appeared in an exhibition and the Bakers were captivated all over again by the celebration of life and movement that was expressed through her work. They took out a mortgage to enable a collection of Eileen’s glorious wildlife work to be kept together with that of her father.
Sadly, John passed away in 1994 but with the hope that the collection would continue to grow and that one day it would be available for the public to enjoy. Joy continued to purchase the artwork, growing the collection to over 700 original pieces along with a huge array of memorabilia, some purchased and a mass being entrusted by Chris Beetles Ltd.
Now, the world’s largest collection of Soper artwork needs to find a permanent home in East Anglia or elsewhere. This home will reveal the glories to be found in our gardens and countryside, in our classic adult and children’s literature, in Eileen Soper’s writing for nature lovers and naturalists, and will also reveal the beauty of our English language.
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