1868 - ?

The Council of the Ipswich Working Men's College fostered the Ipswich Fine Arts and Industrial Exhibition to counter those exhibitions being held at Woodbridge, Wrentham, Stowmarket and Needham Market and opened its first exhibition at the Ipswich School of Art at the New Assembly Rooms in Northgate Street, Ipswich on 30 July 1868 which was opened by the Mayor of Ipswich, John Patterson Cobbold with an admission price of 1/- (5p). The exhibition included the works of Suffolk and Ipswich artists and art workmen, as well as more homely productions of skilled workmen in the various handicrafts carried out in the town. The exhibition was highly successful and closed on the 2 October 1868 when over 10,000 people had attended. Exhibitors and prize winners included Miss Maria Rebecca Abbott, Alfred R. Barber, Robert Burrows, Harriett Churchyard, William Barnard Clarke, Miss Alice Durrant, Henry Day, Daniel Ford Goddard, John Harper, Maria Kersey, John Moore, Rebecca Noy, Thomas Smythe and William Robert Symonds, Thomas Thurlow and William Henry Matthew Turner. This was the forerunner of the Ipswich Fine Art Club,