Huge Lane had a natural eye for art; he amassed an impressive collection over his lifetime. Before his untimely death on the ill-fated Lusitania, he gifted 39 Impressionist paintings to Dublin which caused an ongoing political rift with London. (1980)
Art collector Hugh Lane amassed an impressive collection of wonderful pictures with his natural flair and brilliant eye for art. A man whose whole life was surrounded by sort of controversy which was only equalled by his untimely death onboard the Lusitania in 1915.
65 years have elapsed since his passing but the years have done little to diminish anything but the heat of an issue that has become a perennial bone of contention between the governments of Great Britain and Ireland, namely the fate of the 39 modern continental pictures which make up the core of the sizable collection amassed by Lane during this lifetime. The controversy no longer arouses the bitterness of the 1920s but while some of the passion has abated the commitment of the representatives of both nations to becoming the ultimate custodian of the collection has not. The most recent settlement has effectively put into cold storage the question of a final settlement.
This documentary re-examines the checkered if fascinating history of the Lane bequest, an assessment of the status quo and offers and analyse of what the future holds for this collection. We look at the remarkable life of Hugh Lane himself. How did a man with no academic training acquire such wonderful pictures?
Presented by Myles Dungan and produced by Breandan O' Ciobhain
First broadcast on the 7th of June, 1980.