Who is Alfred East?
Sir Alfred Edward East was a well-known English painter from Kettering, Northamptonshire. East received his early education from Glasgow School of Art in Glasgow, Scotland. From his young age, East was attracted towards dreamy sceneries of mountains and nature. He found his passion towards the painting in the puberty age and destined to follow it by great desire and admiration. The Alfred East Art Gallery is a site where hundreds of antique landscapes showcase the beauty of paintings in the 19th century.
History of Alfred East Art Gallery:
Kettering is indeed one of the historic towns in Northamptonshire to have its own enriched art gallery house. The permanent collection of paintings and other artefacts began in 1905 when the locals and government decided to preserve the precious paintings from the 19th century. However, this decision came after when a library was opened for the locals of Kettering to indulge more in books than in labouring. It was Andrew Carnegie, a famous American Philanthropist, who at that time proposed the idea of a library and gifted the citizens with it in 1904. Carnegie believed that every working man and woman in Kettering deserves a beautiful opportunity to explore more about surrounding and the world by reading books in the library. It had also provided the locals with an escape from the labouring factory life.
Alfred East had similar thoughts and vision; he also believed that the lower and average working class of Kettering must be privileged with education, honour and most importantly, respect of every kind. Therefore, Alfred wanted to make paintings accessible for everyone in Kettering. The process of the collection began after when Walter Bonner Gash painted a portrait of a historical dealer. The painting was called The Connoisseur and was purchased by locals. It was later presented to the art collection to lay the foundation of an art gallery in Kettering. Alfred East was also awarded the knighthood in 1910. East received an honorary recognition for his achievements and works including Midland Meadows.
The Alfred East Art Gallery:
The Alfred East Art Gallery was mutually funded by the locals and related funding trusts of Kettering. It was finally inaugurated on 31st of July, 1913 by Earl Spencer, K.G, Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire. Unfortunately, Sir Alfred was not able to attend the launching ceremony due to severe illness and instead sent his nephew W.D Este Emery for attendance.
Today, The Alfred Art Gallery in Kettering is one of the best historical places in the UK to display rare and antique paintings of the past. The art gallery also hosts various exhibitions where it displays never-seen-before artefacts.