With his wife Mary, an art historian of much esteem, he promoted Irish artists – particularly John Lavery, Walter Osborne and William Orpen.
Alan and Mary held several major exhibitions of Irish art in Pyms Gallery, firstly in Motcomb Street and later in Mount Street, Mayfair. More recently Alan and Mary continued to deal from their home in Farm Street.
The Hobarts’ lavishly produced and expertly researched catalogues – with titles such as Celtic Renaissance and Celtic Splendour – have become collectables in their own right.
Alan did not restrict his dealing to Irish works but he placed them in exhibitions of Impressionism where they were seen to compete with the best of British and French works of quality.
For a dealer whose main income came from finding and acquiring high-end art – including Monet, Picasso, Bacon and the like – he still maintained his interest in Irish art, culture and sport.
His wife, Mary, was from County Monaghan and they kept a much-loved holiday home in Connemara. Alan was appointed by the Taoiseach (Prime Minister of Ireland) to the Board of The National Gallery of Ireland Foundation and was of great service to that institution.
He furnished outstanding works to all the great collectors of Irish art over the past 40 years including the collections of Sir Tony O’Reilly, Sir Michael Smurfit, Tony Ryan and BJ Eastwood, to mention only a few.
He was a great supporter of charities, especially The Ireland Fund and The Irish Youth Foundation.
Alan was not just a client and trade colleague for me; he was a good friend and I very much enjoyed his entertaining and generous company at Stamford Bridge and in the best of restaurants.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.
Ian Whyte, Dublin