Monday 5 August 2013

Monika Kinley and Outsider Art

I've been admiring pictures available online of a room in Monika Kinley's Hammersmith flat in the 1970s, dominated by Roger Hilton's painting Oi Yoi Yoi, which she owned at the time. It's one painting I'd love to live with.

I'm ashamed to say I didn't know much at all about Monika Kinley, who came to Britain as a refugee from Austria and, now in her 80s, lives in the West Country

Kinley and her partner Victor Musgrave together established the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection, comprising over 800 drawings, paintings and sculptures. In 2010 this was presented to the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. You could do worse than find out more.

The flat was on the second floor of Digby Mansions, overlooking the Thames. When Kinley decided to sell up, the artist Humphrey Ocean introduced her to Ian Dury. Kinley (according to Dury's biographer Will Birch) assumed he was "some thick rock 'n' roller" and was shocked and surprised when he started speaking knowledgeably about her collection. Dury later claimed that for every picture he identified she knocked a thousand pounds off the asking price.

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