Hugh Lane Gallery

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Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane
Dánlann Chathair Bhaile Átha Cliath
Facade of the Hugh Lane Gallery
The Hugh Lane Gallery, in 2015
Hugh Lane Gallery is located in Central Dublin
Hugh Lane Gallery
Location within Central Dublin
Former name
Municipal Gallery of Modern Art
LocationCharlemont House,
22 Parnell Square North, Dublin 1
Coordinates53°21′15″N 6°15′53″W / 53.354167°N 6.264722°W / 53.354167; -6.264722Coordinates: 53°21′15″N 6°15′53″W / 53.354167°N 6.264722°W / 53.354167; -6.264722
Typeart gallery
FounderHugh Lane
DirectorBarbara Dawson
ChairpersonPat Molloy
Public transit accessParnell Luas stop (Green Line)

The Hugh Lane Gallery, officially Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane and originally the Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, is an art museum operated by Dublin City Council and its subsidiary, the Hugh Lane Gallery Trust.[1] It is in Charlemont House (built 1763) on Parnell Square, Dublin, Ireland. Admission is free.


The Oval Hall

The gallery was founded by noted art collector Sir Hugh Lane on Harcourt Street on 20 January 1908, and is the first known public gallery of modern art in the world.[2] Lane met the running costs, while seeking a more permanent home. New buildings were proposed in St. Stephens Green, and as a dramatic bridge-gallery over the River Liffey, both proposed designs by Sir Edwin Lutyens, both unrealised.[3] Lane did not live to see his gallery permanently located as he died in 1915 during the sinking of the RMS Lusitania. Since 1933 it has been housed in Charlemont House.

Lane's will bequeathed his collection to London, but an unwitnessed codicil, written in the months prior to his death, bequeathed the 39 paintings to Dublin on the condition that a permanent gallery was secured within 5 years.[3] London's National Gallery did not recognise the codicil. In 1938, the British put forward a suggestion from Sir Robert Witt: "...that these pictures should alternate between London and Dublin. We have had them in London for a considerable number of years, and it might now be the turn of the Dublin Galleries to have them for a number of years... Legally, the holders have a very strong case, but we are so wealthy in our treasures, while Ireland is so comparatively poor..."[4]

This eventually led on to a compromise agreement in 1959, announced by Taoiseach Seán Lemass, whereby half of the Lane Bequest would be lent and shown in Dublin every five years.[5][6] In 1993, the agreement was changed so that 31 of the 39 paintings would stay in Ireland. The remaining 8 were divided into 2 groups, so that 4 would be lent for 6 years at a time to Dublin. These 8 include works by Manet, Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Morisot, Vuillard and Degas. In 2008, The National Gallery in London arranged for the entire collection to be on display in Dublin together for the first time. There was a switch in May 2013 for a six-year period.[7]


Charlemont House is a mansion in Dublin, Ireland. The house was built in 1763 and designed by William Chambers for James Caulfeild, the 1st Earl of Charlemont. It is a brick fronted mansion on Dublin's Parnell Square.[8] According to the Hugh Lane Gallery, "in 1929 the gardens of the house were built upon to accommodate the Gallery." It was opened as the museum in 1933.[9] The gallery was closed for reconstruction in 2004, and reopened in May 2006, with a new extension by Gilroy McMahon Architects.[10][11] The gallery is completely wheelchair-accessible.


Reconstruction of the Francis Bacon Studio at the Hugh Lane Gallery

The museum has a permanent collection and hosts exhibitions, mostly by contemporary Irish artists. It has a dedicated Sean Scully room. Francis Bacon's studio was reconstructed in the gallery in 2001 after being dismantled and moved from London starting in 1998.[12][13]

The Hugh Lane is notable for its collection of French art, including works such as The Umbrellas (Les Parapluies) by Auguste Renoir;[14] Portrait of Eva Gonzalès by Édouard Manet,[15] Jour d’Été by Berthe Morisot[16] and View of Louveciennes by Camille Pissarro.[17]

There is a permanent display of stained glass at the museum which features The Eve of St. Agnes by Irish artist and illustrator Harry Clarke.[18] As well as a previously banned, "scandalous" work of his, which was purchased in 2015 for £35,000.[19]

In 1992, the painting In The Omnibus by Honoré Daumier was stolen from the gallery, and recovered in 2014.[20]

Selected past exhibitions[edit]

Offside was a 2005 project in The Hugh Lane curated by Pallas Projects and included works by Albano Afonso, Antistrot, Anna Boyle, Rhona Byrne, Mark Cullen, Brian Duggan, John Dummet, Brendan Earley, Andreas Gefeller, Niamh McCann, Alex McCullagh, Nina McGowan, Nathaniel Mellors, Clive Murphy, Adriette Myburgh, Cris Neumann, Paul O’Neill, Garrett Phelan, Abigail Reynolds, Mark Titchner, Rich Streitmatter-Tran.[21]

The Golden Bough was a series of exhibitions curated by Michael Dempsey in 2010. It included solo shows by Ronnie Hughes and Corban Walker.[22]

Sleepwalkers (2012–15) curated by Michael Dempsey and Logan Sisley was a two-year project in which six artists (Clodagh Emoe, Lee Welch, Sean Lynch, Linda Quinlan, Jim Ricks, and Gavin Murphy) were invited to use the museum's resources, reveal their artistic process, and to collaborate with each other in this "unusual experiment in exhibition production".[23] This process culminated in each artist developing a solo exhibition at the Hugh Lane[24] and a publication.[25]

Kennedy Browne, consisting of Gareth Kennedy and Sarah Browne, exhibited 3 films as the Redaction Trilogy, 2019-20.[26]

See also[edit]


  • Dawson, Barbara. Hugh Lane : founder of a gallery of modern art for Ireland. London: Scala, 2008. ISBN 1857595750
  • Dempsey, Michael, The golden bough : Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane. Dublin: Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, 2011. ISBN 1901702383
  • Edited by Michael Dempsey and Logan Sisley. Sleepwalkers. Dublin: Hugh Lane Gallery and Ridinghouse, 2015. ISBN 9781905464982


  1. ^ "Code of Governance" (PDF). Hugh Lane Gallery Trust. January 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  2. ^ Hugh Lane: Founder of a Gallery of Modern Art for Ireland ISBN 978-1-857-59575-8 p. 6
  3. ^ a b "How Ireland was robbed of Hugh Lane's great art collection". the Guardian. 30 May 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  4. ^ "Hansard, 17 May 1938, Eire (Confirmation Of Agreements) Bill". 17 May 1938. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  5. ^ Jordan, Anthony (2007). John A Costello - Compromise Taoiseach. Westport Books. pp. 129–138. ISBN 9780952444787.
  6. ^ "Dáil Éireann debate - Thursday, 12 Nov 1959 - Lane Pictures: Statement by Taoiseach". Houses of the Oireachtas. 12 November 1959. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  7. ^ Jason Kennedy (23 May 2013). "Four priceless paintings return to Dublin - Irish News, World News & More | The Irish Times - Thu, May 23, 2013". The Irish Times. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  8. ^ "1763 – Charlemont House, Parnell Square, Dublin". Archiseek - Irish Architecture. 11 June 2010. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  9. ^ "Charlemont House, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane free admission". Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  10. ^ "PROJECTS: Cultural - The Hugh Lane Gallery". Gilroy McMahon Architects. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  11. ^ "Combining old and new at the Hugh Lane Art Gallery". Lee McCullough Consulting Engineers. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  12. ^ "'Francis Bacon's Studio' lecture at Tokyo MOMAT". Estate of Francis Bacon. 3 April 2013. Archived from the original on 14 March 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  13. ^ Paul Tuthill (April 2007). "Francis Bacon's studio, Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin". Whitehot Magazine. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  14. ^ "Renoir, Pierre-Auguste (1841 - 1919)". Dublin City Gallery. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  15. ^ "Manet, Édouard (1832 - 1883)". Dublin City Gallery. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  16. ^ "Morisot, Berthe (1841 - 1895)". Dublin City Gallery. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  17. ^ "Pissarro, Camille (1830 - 1903)". Dublin City Gallery. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  18. ^ "Online Collection, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, free admission". Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  19. ^ Kelly, Olivia. "Scandalous Harry Clarke window goes on display in Dublin gallery". The Irish Times. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  20. ^ "Stolen painting returned to Hugh Lane Gallery". BBC News. 13 May 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  21. ^ adminPF (1 September 2005). "Dublin: Offside and Offsite Live at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane • Circa Art Magazine". Circa Art Magazine. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  22. ^ "Visual Art". The Irish Times. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  23. ^ "Sleepwalkers: Production as Process, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane free admission". Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  24. ^ "Lee Welch "Two exercises in awareness..." at Hugh Lane, Dublin — Mousse Magazine". 23 August 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  25. ^ Sleepwalkers. Dempsey, Michael., Sisley, Logan., Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art. London. ISBN 9781905464982. OCLC 894611255.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  26. ^ Dunne, Aidan. "Playful experiments on the serious business of data". The Irish Times. Retrieved 23 January 2021.

External links[edit]