Barry Flanagan

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Barry Flanagan
Born11 January 1941
Prestatyn, Wales
Died31 August 2009 (aged 68)
EducationBirmingham College of Art and Crafts (1957–1958)
Saint Martin's School of Art (1964–1966)
Known forSculpture
AwardsRoyal Academician (1991)
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (1996)

Barry Flanagan OBE RA (11 January 1941 – 31 August 2009) was an Irish-Welsh sculptor. He is best known for his bronze statues of hares and other animals.


Barry Flanagan was born on 11 January 1941 in Prestatyn, North Wales. From 1957-58, he studied architecture at Birmingham College of Art and Crafts. He studied sculpture at Saint Martin's School of Art in London from 1964 to 1966, and from 1967 to 1971 taught both at Saint Martin's and at the Central School of Art and Design.[2]

He became an Irish citizen and has lived in Dublin since 2000.[3] Flanagan died on 31 August 2009, aged 68, from motor neurone disease in Santa Eulalia del Río, Ibiza, Spain.[4]

He was the subject of a South Bank Show in 1983 directed by Don Featherstone and a biographical film by Peter Bach, The Man Who Sculpted Hares: Barry Flanagan, A Life.[5][6]


Leaping Hare on Crescent and Bell, London (1988)
Untitled sculpture (Grimbergen)

Castings of Flanagan's Thinker on a Rock are installed at Washington University in St. Louis,[7][8] the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park in Des Moines, Iowa,[9] Utrecht,[10] O’Connell Street in Dublin,[3] the Philbrook Museum of Art, in Tulsa, OK,[11] and the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden (Washington, D.C.)[12][13][14]

Flanagan's hare statue, Large Left-Handed Drummer, was on display in Union Square, Manhattan from 18 February to 24 June 2007.[15]

Flanagan's 1993 Large Mirror Nijinski, again with two hares, is displayed at the Skulpturen Park Köln, in Cologne.[16]

Tate Britain held a retrospective show Early Works 1965–1982 from September 2011 to January 2012. This exhibition contained many examples of his less well known pieces using materials such as cloth and rope, as well as some early bronze hare sculptures for which he gained renown.

At an exhibition held by Sotheby's at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, in September–October 2012, fifteen of Flanagan's works were shown in a parkland setting. They included Large Nijinski on Anvil Point and Nijinski Hare, placed at opposite ends of the Canal Pond.

Flanagan donated a bronze horse statue, San Marco Horse, to Jesus College, Cambridge in 2009. Prior to this, it had been on exhibition in the college since 1988.

Selected solo exhibitions[edit]


Barry Flanagan: Sculpture, Venice Biennale, British Council, 1982

Barry Flanagan: Sculpture, 1965-2005, Enrique Juncosa, Mel Gooding and Bruce Arnold, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, 2006

With Barry Flanagan, Travels through Time and Spain, Richard McNeff, The Lilliput Press, 2012

Barry Flanagan, Jo Melvin, Teresa Gleadowe, Mel Gooding, Bruce McLean, Waddington Custot, 2017[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lampert, Catherine (1 September 2009). "Barry Flanagan". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  2. ^ Barry Flanagan biography, Waddington Custot Galleries website. Accessed October 2013.
  3. ^ a b "DITD012 Thinker on Rock | Dublin City Council". Archived from the original on 19 June 2020. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  4. ^ "Barry Flanagan: Sculptor known for his distinctive giant bronzes". The Independent. 4 September 2009.
  5. ^ "The Man Who Sculpted Hares: Barry Flanagan, A Life". BBC. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  6. ^ Marchesi, Robin (1 September 2011). Barry Flanagan: Poet of the Building Site. Edizioni Charta Srl. ISBN 978-8881588244.
  7. ^ "Gateway Foundation". Retrieved 20 September 2022.
  8. ^ "Take Five: New Washington University curator focuses on public art". STLPR. 25 July 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2022.
  9. ^ "Thinker on the Rock - Des Moines, IA - Figurative Public Sculpture on".
  10. ^ "Thinker on Rock - Utrecht".
  11. ^ Watts Jr., James D. (19 July 2006). "Hop to it". Tulsa World. Archived from the original on 19 June 2020. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  12. ^ "National Gallery of Art - Sculpture Garden". Archived from the original on 27 May 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  13. ^ "Thinker on a Rock at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. By Barry Flanagan located in James M. Goode's the Mall area". Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  14. ^ "Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden: Thinker on a Rock". Retrieved 12 October 2022.
  15. ^ "The Daily Plant : NYC Parks". Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  16. ^ "KölnSkulptur 1 - Barry Flanagan". Archived from the original on 19 June 2020. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  17. ^ "Barry Flanagan". Ikon Gallery. 25 October 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  18. ^ "BARRY FLANAGAN MONOGRAPH - The Estate of Barry Flanagan". 18 December 2017. Retrieved 17 July 2021.

External links[edit]