The third in our series is the oil painting ‘The Union Baptist Chapel, King’s Lynn’ by local artist Henry Baines. The Union Baptist Chapel was designed by architect Robert Moffat Smith.
The Lynn Advertiser in February 1859 stated that the building would be of “a very ornamental character, ecclesiastical in appearance, and differing very materially from any…place of worship in the town.”
Baines painted the view from the direction of Baxters Plain, showing the rear of the Athenaeum on the right (now the site of the old Post Office), the side of Paradise House and the front of the Chapel.
A preparatory sketch for this painting is dated 15th August 1859, meaning the picture was painted soon after the Chapel was completed. In 1900 the building was purchased to house the Town Museum which opened in 1904.
The painting gives us an insight of what life would have been like in the town; with figures in period dress, a flock of sheep being driven to market and street paving being laid.
Henry Baines (1823-1894) was born in King’s Lynn. Henry’s older brother, Thomas was also a prolific painter who travelled to Africa and Australia.
Unlike his brother Henry stayed closer to home.
His pictures consist mainly of landscapes, topographical views and also some coastal scenes.
This oil painting and others by Henry Baines are on permanent display in the museum.
The museum also has a collection of over 1,000 drawings by Henry Baines. These have now been digitised by the Lynn Museum volunteers.
If you are interested in volunteering at the museum call 01553 775001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org