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There was a Suffolk Art Union in conjunction with the Suffolk Fine Arts Association who distributed the awards in 1851. They seem to have merged with the Suffolk Fine Arts' Association from the 4th Exhibition

A second Suffolk Art Union formed as in 1873 when Her Majesty's Privy Council granted a licence for the formation of a Suffolk Art Union, a committee being formed later that year with patrons such as the Duke of Grafton, the Earl of Stradbroke, Lord Waveney, Lord Rendlesham, Sir Richard Wallace, Edward Packard and others. It held its first awards lottery on 10 December 1873 and at its fourth draw at Pearce's Rooms, Ipswich on 14 December 1876 when 1,292 entry tickets at 1/- [5p] each were sold. Lord John Hervey was president and John Glyde, secretary & manager, the committee consisted of Revd John Frederick Arthur Hervey, Edward Grimwade, Walter Buller Ross, William Thompson Griffiths, Robert Barrett and Henry Stevens. Some forty-two pieces of art were the prizes with the first prize being a portrait of Oliver Cromwell by William Robert Symonds with other works by Edward Robert Smythe and Thomas Smythe, Walter Daniel Batley, Robert Burrows, etc. The Suffolk Art Union was working with the Ipswich Fine Art Club and the draw for 1879 was delayed by the opening of the Ipswich Art Gallery and did not take place until Friday 27 March 1880 at High Street, Ipswich which seems to have been its last. However there was a cash distribution of monies in 1884 for a Bury and Suffolk Art Union, with which to purchase works of art at an exhibition at the Town Hall, Bury St Edmund's.