Bewick has divided up all her vast output over the last sixty odd years into three roughly equivalent collections and both Waterford Institute of Technology and Kerry County Council now have to maintain the 400 works in perpetuity. Meanwhile Kerry Co Co is also to provide a new property to house the 200 works it is to receive. In each case the collections have been valued by Bewick's agent, Pat Keegan, at €1.37m but only two of the three 200-work collections have been donated to the State, while the other thirdis to remain in Bewick's hands but is apparently to tour around Ireland, the UK and Europe for the next few years.
Pat Keegan, of SOLO ARTE, is based in Waterford, which explains the Waterford donation and he has been representing Bewick for almost three years, since working on her 'Yellow Man' exhibition. It was his idea to divide the collection into three separate parts and he will be overseeing the touring of the third still owned by Bewick. Of course, there are costs associated with such an operation especially if, as Keegan hopes, the works are shown as far away as Berlin. Keegan also worked on her Cork 2005 exhibition, which was opened by Dermot Desmond, who has purchased a couple of the artist's pieces.
Listen to President Mary McAleese and Dermot Desmond as they talk about Pauline Bewick and her work.