In an unexpected order, Tate announced on Wednesday that he would remove a vast archive of material from Francis Bacon’s property donated by a close friend of an Irish-born painter after researchers asked questions about gifts. .. credibility.
The move was originally planned to donate another group of works to the museum because Barry Jules, an Englishman who became friends with Bacon when he lived in London in 1978, was unable to display a controversial archive. It will be done only two months after the withdrawal. Decades ago. Jules, who is said to have been in contact with the artist until his death in 1992, threatened to take legal action against Tate in a rift.
In 2004, Jules donated an archive of about 1,200 items across drawings for photographs from Bacon’s studio. It is worth an estimated £ 20 million ($ 25.1 million). At the time, Tate planned to catalog the donations for three years before exhibiting them, but the promised public showcase didn’t come true. The museum said it is currently providing archives to its providers. This is rare, but a legally permissible move for UK institutions.
In the first statement obtained by Art newspaper, Tate said Jules’ archived material was “investigated by art historians, and this investigation raised credible questions about the nature and quality of the material,” and “the public’s understanding of Bacon’s art.” I’ve run out of all the possibilities I had to improve. “Joule denied allegations that the archive contained malicious material.
In April, reports of the ongoing column escalated when it became clear that scholars had questioned Jules’ donation, officially known as the Barry Jules Archive (BJA).Published by Bacon Estate last September Francis Bacon: Shadow“The hands marked with the material may contain virtually no bacon,” said Andrew Wilson, a former Tate curator.
Jules instead made a second group of Bacon’s works (about 150 drawings, 10 paintings, and other archives, including documents and audio recordings) at the Pompidou Center in France, after belonging to the London Institute. He said he intends to donate it to the National Archives of Japan. Negotiations have started. Bacon was the subject of a retrospective exhibition focusing on his literary influence, entitled “Bacon: Books and Paintings” at a museum in France in 2019.
It is still unclear whether Tate’s move to dump the archives will affect the ongoing negotiations between Jules and Pompidou to receive tranches of other works.The representative of the Pompidou Center did not respond immediately ARTnews‘Request for comment.