• gerard van weyenbergh

London and Dublin share custody for the Hugh Lane Collection + video

Updated: Mar 19


The two countries were arguing over the ownership of this donation due to two different wills.

The National Gallery in London and the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin have entered into a ten-year partnership which provides for the rotation of ten paintings between the two museums on a five-year basis, while two paintings will remain in London and twenty-seven others will be long-term loaned to Dublin.

"This new partnership agreement underpins the collegial relationship that has developed between the two institutions," Barbara Dawson, director of the Hugh Lane Gallery, told British newspaper The Guardian. "It recognizes the history and role of the Hugh Lane Gallery in the provenance of these paintings and means that people in both countries can continue to benefit from Sir Hugh's famous legacy," she adds.

The ten rotating works are divided into two groups, each consisting of five paintings. Currently in London, group A includes Les Parapluies by Auguste Renoir, Don Quichotte and Sancho Panza by Honoré Daumier, Summer Day by Berthe Morisot, Vue de Louveciennes by Camille Pissarro and Eva Gonzales by Edouard Manet. Group B, currently in Dublin, includes Beach scene by Edgar Degas, Avignon seen from the west by Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, Sunset on the snow Lavacourt by Claude Monet, La chimney by Edouard Vuillard, and Music at the Tuileries by Edouard Manet.

Another illustration of this new partnership, the placards of the works will henceforth indicate "Legs of Sir Hugh Lane, 1917, The National Gallery. In partnership with the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin".

Composed primarily of works by French impressionists, the fate of the Hugh Lane collection was at the heart of a dispute between the United Kingdom and Ireland since the disappearance of the art dealer in the sinking of the Lusitania , an ocean liner torpedoed by the German army off the Irish coast in 1915.

Dated 1913, the Irish collector's will originally stipulates that the entire collection would revert to London's National Gallery. But the year of his death, Hugh Lane wrote an addendum, found in his office at the National Gallery of Ireland where he was director, which stipulated that the collection should remain in his country of birth.

The codicil was finally declared invalid by the courts because it was written in the absence of witnesses, thus allowing the National Gallery in London to claim ownership of the art. Since then, a standoff has been engaged between the United Kingdom and Ireland. © Le Journal des arts Video of 1 hour showing the Hugh Lane Collection

© Manet, Music in the Tuileries Gardens, National Gallery