Wednesday 14 November 2018

Christy Brown collection saved for the nation at auction

Author Christy Brown
Author Christy Brown
Trevor White of The Little Museum of Dublin
A young Christy Brown at work.
An abstract painting by Christy Brown
A self-portrait of Christy Brown

Laura Butler

AN extensive treasure trove of artifacts relating to the life of Christy Brown has been bought at auction by the National Library of Ireland and the Little Museum of Dublin.

Hundreds of items connected to the author, including previously unseen family photographs, sketches, poetry and letters, were snapped up for €44,820.

They will become a key attraction for tourists visiting the capital when they are housed at the two cultural institutions.

Competition was strong for the items, which went under the hammer at Bonhams auction house in London, due to Brown's life-story being so vividly displayed in the Oscar-winning 'My Left Foot'.

He was born with cerebral palsy and went on to become an acclaimed writer and artist after he learnt to draw and write using his left foot.

Director of The Little Museum of Dublin, Trevor White, spoke out this week to appeal to potential buyers to ensure that the archive remain on Irish soil.

Mr White received a donation – believed to be between €20,000 and €30,000 – on Tuesday night from Irish company Direct Medical, offering the museum the opportunity to put in a bid for the Brown collection.

Mr White contacted Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan yesterday morning to put together a joint bid and last night thanked the minister and his department for their involvement, describing it as "instrumental" to securing the archive.

"We're absolutely over the moon because we had tried to raise awareness of the sale of the collection in the hope that someone would emerge as potential bidder and we really felt it would be sad to see this collection leave Ireland for good and I had almost lost hope," he said.

The archive will arrive at its new home in Dublin in the coming days.

Brown died 33 years ago when he was just 49.

Irish Independent

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