20th Anniversary of the Francis Bacon Studio opening to the public
Francis Bacon’s relocated studio in Hugh Lane Gallery first opened to the public on the 23 rd May 2001. Francis Bacon lived and worked in 7, Reece Mews, South Kensington, London from 1961 until his death in 1992. It was in this small space measuring 6 x 4 metres that some of the greatest figurative paintings in the history of European painting were created. In seeking to organise a Francis Bacon exhibition for the Hugh Lane Gallery in the mid 90’s, I was introduced to John Edwards, the artist’s heir and Brian Clarke the executor of the Estate of Francis Bacon.
We had many discussions about this famous studio and how best to ensure its preservation. Following on a growing friendship and mutual trust, they offered it to the Hugh Lane Gallery. It was a daunting task to relocate this famous chaotic space to a public art gallery, but one which we successfully accomplished over a three year period. It has become a very famous Dublin art attraction, described by Ambrose Clancy of the Washington Post in 2001 “The Francis Bacon Studio at the Hugh Lane…one of the most stunning events in European Circles in Years”...
This cramped space, in all of its glorious mess, with its brightly coloured walls, floors and ceilings, was the centre of Francis Bacon’s life. Today it still radiates a sense of mystery and continues to bear the patina of a chosen place of inspiration and ferocious creativity by one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.
Hugh Lane Gallery