A Rich Inheritance
This is the story of how one man's passion for one of Ireland's greatest artists shaped the lives of his young family, in particular that of his daughter Siún, and her efforts to authenticate his legacy twenty years after her father's death.
Michael O'Connor was an art collector who spent his life obsessing about the Irish artist Roderic O'Conor. He came across a folio at a sale of work in Meath in the late 80's that he believed was painted by O'Conor. The collection comprised of 43 paintings, all unsigned in the conventional sense. He purchased them eagerly and these paintings would become the centre of Michael's obsessive behaviour. He set out on the long and complicated path of authenticating the works with a view to creating a permanent exhibition dedicated to O'Conor.
Michael O'Connor died in 1995 and never fulfilled his life's ambition. Now, twenty years on, having survived her upbringing, Michael's daughter, Siún, has decided to finish her father's work and open up his research and legacy to see whether these paintings are in fact what he believed they were. Did the great man himself paint them or are they even attributed to him? They have acted like shadows throughout her life, but it is time to uncover what it is her father saw.
Siún's father kept detailed notes on the collection, an extensive portfolio of letters and correspondence with art experts and historians, along with photographs and X-rays of the paintings. He was engaged in an extensive effort to authenticate them before he died.
This documentary follows Siún as she picks up where her father left off. As she works through the authentication process, she is re-introduced to her father's legacy, and uncovers the story behind the collection and the possible links to Roderic O'Conor himself.
Along the way she is helped by one of the world's leading experts in art authentication. David Freeman is an eminent art historian, international fine art consultant, art fraud investigator and advisor. He has over 42 years of professional experience in the field in pursuit of fine art authentication, artist attribution matters and art fraud and forgery detection. He agrees to help Siún get to the truth behind her father's collection and together they set out to solve the mystery of who painted them.