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Best of Britten at the Mansion

As tributes to Benjamin Britten continue in his centenary year, an exhibition on the Suffolk composer opens next week at Christchurch Mansion.

The display is the brainchild of the Friends of the Ipswich Museums and its former chairman, Alan Swerdlow.

christchurchThe exhibition opens on Tuesday 24th September until February 2014.

Visitors can see a jacket, shoes and slippers belonging to Benjamin Britten, who was born in 1913. The clothing has been loaned by the Britten-Pears Foundation (BPF) in Aldeburgh. His sister’s wedding dress and coat, in the collections of Ipswich Museum, are also highlights of the display.

Caroline Harding, BPF Curator, said: “We are delighted that Britten’s centenary is being marked at Christchurch Mansion, and are pleased to lend some items from the huge collection displayed at The Red House in Aldeburgh.”

Meanwhile, one of Lady Munnings’ ball gowns will also be on display in the Mansion’s drawing room. Painter Alfred Munnings’ wife wore it to the Chelsea Arts Ball in 1933. Alfred Munnings painted the design on the ball gown for his wife, Lady Violet. It is the only piece of painted clothing inIpswich Museum and one painted by a famous local artist. As such is unique and can be said to be a truly “mobile piece of art work”.

Also on display is a 19th CenturyIndian shawl given to Lady Munnings as a gift. Similar shawls were given byQueen Victoria to her ladies in waiting when they married. The shawl has silver and gold threads running through it.

Some Munnings paintings will accompany the display.

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