Family-run art gallery celebrates 50th anniversary with special Norwich School exhibition

John Allen with an Alfred Stannard painting called Yarmouth Beach and Rachel Allen with a George Vin

John Allen with an Alfred Stannard painting called Yarmouth Beach and Rachel Allen with a George Vincent painting called A Farmstead. Photo: Simon Finlay photography/Newsmakers PR. - Credit: Simon Finlay photography/Newsmakers PR

A family-run art gallery in Norwich is celebrating its 50th year with a special exhibition of paintings by Norwich School artists next month.

The paintings are from the private collection of Geoffrey Allen, who was the founder of Mandell's Gallery in Elm Hill and who died in 2005 aged 84.

Today the gallery is run by his son John, 65, and granddaughter Rachel, 28, who wanted to pay tribute to him in the gallery's golden anniversary year.

'Father had a fascination for Norwich School landscapes that just ran away with him. He was such an avid collector it became a passion,' said John.

'He probably had 200 paintings hung in the family home, three deep with frames touching each other. There were still more stored in the loft.'

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Rachel added: 'From November 5 to 26 we are devoting our contemporary gallery at Mandell's to the Geoffrey Allen Collection. These are the family's personal Norwich School paintings so they aren't for sale, though, for enthusiasts, our Window Gallery will have some Norwich School work for sale.'

The Norwich School painters were famous for their landscapes of Norfolk in the 19th century.

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Paintings on display in the exhibition will include works by artists including Thomas Lound, Henry Bright, Miles Edmund Cotman, John Joseph Cotman, John Thirtle, Eloise Harriet Stannard, Alfred Stannard and James Stark.

There will also be an additional exhibition of work by contemporary landscape and wild life artist Colin Burns.

The exhibition of Norwich School paintings will be at Mandell's Gallery, in Elm Hill, from November 5 to 26. For more information, visit

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