Sir Alfred East was born in Kettering in 1844. He studied art in Glasgow, London and Paris, before settling in London to paint. He offered a selection of his work to his native town on the condition that a gallery was built to house it. The Alfred East Art Gallery was opened in July 1913, and is Northamptonshire’s oldest purpose-built art gallery. Today the foundation collection has grown to include more than 900 pictures; oils, watercolours, engravings and drawings, by local artists and international names. There are notable collections of paintings by T.C. Gotch, and of British contemporary art from the 1950s and 1960s.

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