Dr Babara Dawson

Director, Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin Ireland
"Join me on the 7th of March 2019 where I will be giving an exclusive interview on the role of Hugh Lane Gallery as an urban activator for the regeneration and gentrification of the Parnell Square Cultural Quarter. Learn more on the overview page and register now to be part of this."

Hugh Lane Gallery houses the foremost public collection of contemporary art in Ireland and have also acquired the Francis Bacon Studio

Barbara Dawson is director of the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin. During her tenure she has reimagined and repositioned the Gallery nationally and internationally as a progressive public cultural institution through dynamic programmes and projects.  She was awarded a PhD in Fine Arts (Honoris causa) in recognition for her contribution to the fine arts in 2010. She is currently Adjunct Professor at the School of Art History and Cultural  Policy in University College Dublin. She is a member of the Dublin City Council’s Public Art Advisory Committee. In 1998 Barbara Dawson secured for the Gallery Francis Bacon’s Studio and archive. Her strategic plan for its removal from London and relocation in Dublin was pioneering in terms of museology. The studio was opened to the public in 2001 and the entire archive of over 7000 items was digitised. This database is available to scholars and researches worldwide. She has been to the fore in audience engagement in particular community engaged artists practice. The Gallery is a lead institution in reaching out to communities citywide with innovative projects supporting creativity and art appreciation.In partnership with Create the Irish National Agency for collaborative arts practice, she introduced a new strand of programming to the gallery in 2017 that of institutionally supported collaborative artists practices within the community. The most recent project was with the EU funded Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme CAPP. Capp is an ambitious transnationall cultural programme focusing on the dynamic area of collaborative arts with the overall goal of  improving and opening up opportunities for artists who are working collaboratively across Europe  by enhancing mobility and exchange whilst at the same time engaging new audiences with collaborative practices. This artist led project was based in a disadvantaged community area in Dublin and the project also resulted the exhibition Travellers Collection at the Hugh Lane in 2018. The project continues. Barbara Dawson is responsible for the growth in status and prestige of the Gallery’s art collections and has, apart from securing Francis Bacon’s studio, archive and a collection of his paintings, made several strategic acquisitions and donations including a recent gift of nine paintings by Sean Scully.