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  • Posts Tagged ‘George Bernard Shaw’


    Saturday, July 18th, 2020

    When playwright George Bernard Shaw left one third of his posthumous royalties to the National Gallery no one could have guessed that it would amount to one of the largest ever gifts to the arts in Ireland.  With the production of My Fair Lady based on his play Pygmalion, a Broadway success in 1956 and a popular film in 1964, these royalties hugely increased.  The Gallery received its first Shaw bequest royalties in 1957 of £10,000 and by the end of 1959 over €240,000 had been received.  The first purchases were made in 1959. The Shaw bequest, which ends this year, has enabled the acquisition of masterpieces such as The Terrace, Saint-Tropez by Paul Signac; Landscape with Flight of Stairs by Chaïm Soutine; Venice, Queen of the Adriatic by Domenico Tintoretto; Julie Bonaparte as Queen of Spain by Baron François Gérard; El Sueño by Francisco de Goya; and An Interior with Members of a Family, attributed to Strickland Lowry. Shaw, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925, spent many hours in the gallery as a child and called it the place to which he owed:  “much of the only real education I ever got as a boy in Eire.”  A special display entitled Shaw and the Gallery: A Priceless Education  runs at the National Gallery of Ireland to April 4, 2021.

    John Collier (1850-1934) – Portrait of George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) © National Gallery of Ireland.


    Monday, September 10th, 2018

    Sotheby’s annual Irish Art sale in London on September 11 will be led by a major single-owner selection of works from the Joseph and Brenda Calihan Collection. In 16 oils, the Calihan Collection represents a superb distillation of Irish art across a hundred-year period, from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries. Led by Jack B. Yeats’ timeless and romantic Sunday Evening in September, the group is characterised by the exemplary and individual qualities of each piece. Acquired in the 1990s with passion and discernment, we are delighted to present the collection at auction to a new generation of collectors.

    Alongside the Calihan Collection are paintings by Roderic O’Conor, Paul Henry, John Lavery, Louis le Brocquy, works from the White Stag Group and a strong selection of contemporary paintings.  The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    (See posts on for August 15 and August 27, 2018)

    UPDATE:  The sale total, including buyers premium, was £2,680,125.  This is the highest total for a dedicated sale since the re-introduction of Irish art sales in 2015. The National Gallery of Ireland purchased two works by Kenneth Hall and The Yew Walk by Patrick Hennessy.

    HELL FOR LEATHER (£25,000-35,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE £50,000

    GOLD PAINTING 20 (£10,000-15,000)  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    IR JOHN LAVERY, R.A., R.H.A., R.S.A.
    PORTRAIT OF GEORGE BERNARD SHAW (£70,000-100,000)  UDATE: THIS MADE £181,250

    Evie Hone UNTITLED (£15,000-20,00) UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £22,500