Tuesday 16 January 2018

Irish sculptor behind leaping hares leaves €14m in his will

Liam Collins

Liam Collins

Sculptor Barry Flanagan, who specialised in statues of large bronze hares, has left €14m in his will.

Mr Flanagan, who died of motor neurone disease at the age of 68, described himself as an "itinerant European sculptor" and lived between Amsterdam, New York and his home in Pembroke Road, Dublin 4, each of which was fitted with a trademark green carpet.

He liked to travel in England and Ireland in a vintage camper van with his partner Jessica Sturgess.

Barry Flanagan was a well-known figure in pubs around Baggot Street -- although most people were unaware that he was the sculptor of the giant hares that were on display in the main streets of many of the capitals of the world, including Park Avenue in New York and O'Connell Street in Dublin.

He died on August 31, 2009, at another of his homes on the island of Ibiza in the Baelaric Islands.

James Barry Flanagan was born in 1941 in North Wales, where his father worked for Warner Brothers. After boarding school, he studied architecture and sculpture in Birmingham College of Art.

He was already an accomplished sculptor, designer and teacher when he modelled a hare from one he'd bought in the butchers and memories of an earlier sighting of a hare while on holidays as a child.

The Leaping Hare became an instant hit. The result was "a parade of hares" of varying sizes and shapes, which he turned out over the next 30 years, many of them commissions, including one for the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

He is survived by his daughters Samantha and Tar from his marriage to Sue Lewis, and a son and daughter, Alfred and Annabelle, by Renate Widmann.

According to documents lodged in the Probate Office in Dublin last week, Barry Flanagan, of Pembroke Road, Dublin, left an estate valued at €13,951,258. The executors of his will were Tim Hughes of Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin, art historian Joanna Melvin and Leslie Waddington of the Waddington Gallery in London, who represented him as an artist.

Sunday Independent

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