Sir Hugh Lane Additional Papers, 1900-1932
Correspondents include: Sir Otto Beit, Augustine Birrell, Duchess of Connaught, Frank Cadogan Cowper, Earl of Crawford, Marquis of Curzon, Michael Davitt, Countess of Drogheda, Earl of Granard, Lady Gregory, Stephen Gwynn, Nathaniel Hone, Augustus John, Gerald Kelly, Sir John Lavery, Marquess of Londonderry, Matthew Maris, John Masefield, George Moore, Dermod O'Brien, William O'Brien, Sir William Orpen, R. Caulfield Orpen, Sir Lionel Phillips, Lady Florence Phillips, Sir Horace Plunkett, Sarah, Purser, John Redmond, George Russell, Sir Richard Hieram Sankey, John Singer Sargent, Henry Scott Tuke, Francis Derwent Wood, John Butler Yeats, W. B. Yeats, and Lily Yeats.
|Main Creator:||Lane, Hugh Percy, Sir, 1875-1915|
Hugh Lane was born on 9 November 1875 at Ballybrack House, county Cork. Lane was possessed of a gift for recognising the work of any painter, and this, coupled with an instinct for beauty, quickly brought him a fortune which enabled him to make generous donations. Lane had no special interest in Ireland until, at the house of his aunt, Lady August Gregory, he met and befriended W.B. Yeats and other members of the Irish Literary revival. He proposed to found a gallery of modern art in Dublin, and began by commissioning John Butler Yeats to paint a series of portraits of distinguished Irishmen. In 1903 he secured for exhibition in Dublin about one hundred of the best paintings in the Staats Forbes collection, and several of these were purchased to form the nucleus of a gallery. Lane also donated many painting himself and encouraged artists to do the same. When Dublin Corporation opened a Municipal Gallery temporarily at premises in Harcourt St. in 1908, he organised a Franco-Irish exhibition for it. In 1909 he was knighted for his services to art. Lane had a vision for a gallery of modern art linked with the National Gallery of Ireland and spanning the Liffey. But there was a great deal of controversy over the site and Sir Edwin Lutyen’s plan for the building was rejected by Dublin Corporation. In disgust Lane took back the collection of Impressionists he had donated and lent them to the English National Gallery, to which he bequeathed them in 1913. In 1914 he was appointed director of the Irish National Gallery and greatly improvd it in the short time he was there. Before travelling to the United States in February 1915, he made a codicil to his will making a gift of the French paintings to the Harcourt St. collection. However the codicil was unwitnessed and when he died aboard the ill-fated Lusitania on his return a few weeks later, the English National Gallery refused to return the art works, although he had expressed this wish to several persons. Bitter litigation between the National Gallery of Ireland and the National Gallery, London over the future of the Lane collection was finally ended in 1959 when a compromise solution of shared ownership was accepted by both parties. He died on 7 May 1915.
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Physical description: 2 boxes (56 folders).
Finding aid available: NLI Manuscripts Collection List No. 10
This collection was donated to the National Library of Ireland in 1984.
Letter from Mary Hunter to Hugh Lane informing him that she cannot be in London as she is having her bust done by Auguste Rodin and asking when he would like a Valero portrait that she is to donate to the new gallery of modern art in Dublin,
[1905?] Oct. 23.View more information ...
|In Collection:||Sir Hugh Lane Additional Papers, 1900-1932|
|Main Creator:||Hunter, Mary, 1856-1933|
1 item (3 pages).
|Call Number:||MS 27,741/3/7 (Manuscripts Reading Room)|
Reproduction rights owned by the National Library of Ireland.