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The Reference Archive

The Centre houses an Archive which has been assembled over the last sixty years and relates to many aspects of East Anglian Art. All the standard reference books are included, together with many of the rare titles and catalogues from Exhibitions held since the early 1800’s. From these specialist publications the histories of paintings can often be built up and firm attributions established.


Authorship of works by the Norwich School artists is easily confused due to the commonality of influences and their similar painting styles. Of particular assistance in these cases is the extensive library of photographs held by the Centre, many of which were secured by Harold Day in the course of writing his volumes in the mid 1960’s.


Auction and Exhibition catalogues held on site provide a further vast pool of information. The digital library held on hard drives provides useful additional material, and subscriptions to other digital sources are maintained.

Within the Archive are papers and documents from many of the Artists themselves, and from their families. A major advantage the Centre offers is that original works by most of the artists are available on site for comparison purposes, which is invaluable in some cases.      

Archives Held at the Centre

At the East Anglian Traditional Art Centre, we are privileged to have access to an extensive archive of research material. We will continue to make acquisitions adding further to our knowledge of the artists and their work. It is intended to make some material accessible to the public in the future and available online.


John Constable R.A. 1776-1837


John Day has studied and collected the works of Constable for many years, gathering a Collection of drawings illustrating many aspects of the Artist’s working methods. The Constable reference library is comprehensive, backed up by many photographs and early catalogues. The Mezzotints are represented by an early Presentation Set of the English Landscape series, also the later 1855 Bohn issue and others.


John Crome of Norwich 1768-1821

This Archive has been assembled since the 1950’s and comprises of many photographs, exhibition and auction catalogues, specialist books and unpublished material. Harold Day’s original notes from the 1960’s, which were made whilst he was compiling the volumes on East Anglian Painters, are held in the Archive.


The Norwich School and Suffolk Artists 1750-1950

We hold files on all the artists and have access to our extensive photographic libraries relating to many of the individual artists.

The centre is expanding the Archive and is interested to hear of material available to acquire, store or to copy and pass on to a National Archive.


Thomas Churchyard of Woodbridge 1798 – 1865


The Centre holds a chronological archive of documents relating to the artist and his family. From these we can often identify works from Exhibitions. Our photographic library of oils, watercolours and drawings is very extensive, probably the largest in existence. The Collection holds many works by the Artist, enabling comparisons to be made.


George Thomas Rope of Blaxhall,  1846 - 1929

For over half a century a large quantity of material relating to this fascinating artist and naturalist has been accumulated by John Day. This has been added to that discovered by his father in the 1960’s to form the most significant reference archive available. A large Collection of paintings and drawings is held in the Collection. An Exhibition of his work is planned, together with a catalogue raisonne.

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