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The Late John Hunt’s contribution to the arts honoured at special ceremony

A specially commissioned stone carved bust of the late John Hunt has just been unveiled at a ceremony in Bunratty Castle, Co. Clare. The bust was commissioned by Shannon Heritage and the Bunratty Castle furniture trustees to commemorate John Hunt’s major contribution to the arts.

John Hunt encouraged Lord Gort to restore Bunratty Castle during the 1950’s and played an instrumental role in sourcing and collecting many of the art pieces which are still on display at Bunratty Castle today. In advising Lord Gort on the refurbishment of the Castle, John shared his great knowledge of the medieval period to ensure the historical accuracy of the project.

Among those who attended the event were members of the Hunt family including John Hunt’s daughter Trudy.

“We wanted to acknowledge the major contribution that the late John Hunt and his family have made to Bunratty Castle. The Hunt family’s generosity of spirit and action has meant that over the year’s countless people from around the world have been able to enjoy some magnificent medieval works of art in the historic setting of Bunratty Castle. John’s two children, the late John Jr. and Trudy, have continued in their parents' philanthropic footsteps, donating the remainder of the families magnificent world class art collection of over 2,000 pieces, now housed at the Hunt Museum in Limerick, to the people of Ireland,” said Brian O’ Connell, Chairman, Shannon Heritage.

“This stone carving of John by Dublin based artist, Cliodhna Cussen, will form pride of place here at Bunratty Castle among the other works of art that John himself so lovingly collected down through the years. We thought that this piece of art dedicated to a man so involved in the art world would be the most appropriate tribute. We hope that it will give enjoyment to visitors to the Castle now and in the future,” said Mr. O’ Connell.

John Hunt

The late John Hunt's contribution to the arts honoured at special ceremony in Bunratty Castle, Co. Clare

A specially commissioned stone carved bust of the late John Hunt has just been unveiled at a special ceremony in Bunratty Castle. The bust was commissioned by Shannon Heritage and Bunratty Castle Furniture Trustees to commemorate John Hunt's major contribution to the arts.  John Hunt encouraged Lord Gort to restore Bunratty Castle during the 1950's and played an instrumental role in sourcing and collecting many of the art pieces still on display at Bunratty Castle today.  Pictured at the ceremony are: (l-r) John Ruddle, Chief Executive, Shannon Heritage, Christy Lynch hon. Curator Bunratty Castle Furniture Trustees, Grainne Weir, Chairperson Hunt Museum Trust, and Brian O’ Connell, Chairman, Shannon Heritage.

 

ENDS

Notes for Editor:

Background bio on the Late John Hunt

John Hunt was born in London in 1900. He studied both medicine and architecture before embarking on a career as an antique dealer. He opened a shop in Bury Street, London, and became established as an authority on medieval art. John met his future wife Gertrude Hartman in London in the early 1930s. They were brought together through their mutual interest in art and antiques and were married in 1933. At the end of the 1930s they began to act as advisors to major collections.

The Hunts assisted in the formation of such international collections as that of Sir William Burrell in Glasgow, the collection of William Randolph Hearst and that of the Aga Khan. They also worked as advisors for Sotheby’s, London. It was in this period, the 1930s and 1940s that the Hunts set about the formation of their own collection.

In the 1970’s John and Gertrude, began to be aware of the scale and importance of their collection and wished to keep it intact. Initially, it was temporarily housed at Craggaunowen Castle, part of the Shannon Heritage portfolio of visitor attractions, while the Hunts began to look for a more permanent location. In 1978 a substantial part of the collection was re-housed at Plassey, the University of Limerick. The collection remained in the University until 1997 when it moved to its present location in the restored 18th century Customs House in Limerick city. John Hunt died in 1976, but his legacy to the art world will live on for posterity.

 

For further information please contact:

Nandi O’Sullivan
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Tel: +353 61 710259
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