Hugh Lane The Art Market and the Art Museum, 1893–1915 Morna O'Neill

Publication date:
25 Sep 2018
Paul Mellon Centre
284 pages: 254 x 190mm
95 color + 10 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

This book charts a geography of the art market and the art museum in the early 20th century through the legacy of one influential dealer. Born in Ireland, Hugh Lane (1875–1915) established himself in London in the 1890s. With little formal education or training, he orchestrated high-profile sales of paintings by the likes of Holbein, Titian, and Velázquez and described his life’s work as “selling pictures by old painters to buy pictures by living painters.” Lane assembled a collection of modern art for the Johannesburg Art Gallery, amassed a collection of Dutch and Flemish paintings for Cape Town, and gave his own collection of modern art to the National Gallery in London. He also donated paintings to the National Gallery of Ireland, where he was named director in 1914. Each chapter in this revelatory study focuses on an important city in Lane’s practice as a dealer to understand the interrelationship of event and place.

Morna ONeill is associate professor of art history at Wake Forest University.

“Excellent questions are posed” —Robert O'Byrne, Apollo Magazine

“A major appeal of the book lies in the parallels O'Neill draws between Lane's time and the present day, demonstrating how certain core questions that preoccupied him and his contemporaries remain important, especially because the overlaps between commerce and art history are becoming ever more pronounced.”— Susanna Avery-Quash, Burlington Magazine

Long listed for the Historians of British Art Book Prize