1996 - ?

Graham & Oldham Gallery

The Graham & Oldham Gallery, the Electric House art gallery was on Peel Street near Ipswich's Tower Ramparts bus station was sponsored by Arthur Frederic Oldham, former senior partner of Ipswich firm of solicitors Graham & Oldham which merged and became Ashton Graham in 1996. Arthur Oldham, having taken a sabbatical to study art, realised how few spaces there were for artists to exhibit and revamped the firm's basement and opened a gallery which opened on 10 September 1998. The Gallery was non-commercial and curated collections are now common among law firms, others use art galleries as a backdrop to client events, sponsor exhibitions, and help young artists by exhibiting works and sponsoring awards. For a few firms, the dead space in their basements has now become a vibrant area given over to permanent art galleries. It is hard to quantify how the firm benefits from the gallery, but because it draws people to the building and gains local publicity, it raises the firm's profile and the brand. The gallery has now closed and Ashtons has moved to Portman House, in Portman Road, Ipswich.