Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Round Trip

This began when I caught up on the Classic Tales podcast: it was a special on Edgar Allen Poe (and was great fun). I remembered that the Irish artist Harry Clarke had illustrated Poe's tales -- magnificently...

The picture above is from The Pit & the Pendulum - the scene where he gets the rats to chew through his bindings. Clarke also illustrated Hans Christian Anderson's stories (picture from The Little Mermaid below).

Now, one of the past-treats of Dublin was to sit in Bewley's on Grafton Street and gaze at Harry Clarke's beautiful stained glass windows. I saw his Eve of Saint Agnes stained glass in the Hugh Lane gallery last year, and it's just stunning.

Which reminded me of the dramatic story behind Hugh Lane: the Irish art collector who died with the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915; shortly before his death he changed his will, and bequeathed his collection not to London but to Dublin. But the new codicil had not been witnessed...

And where did that lead? Back to the New York Times Archive, which offers this simple report from 3 October 1915:

The will was not as straightforward as the NY Times first thought; the argument over Hugh Lane's collection went on until 1959.

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