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Rusbridger fails in bid to keep painting of murdered model at LMH

Alan Rusbridger, the principal of Lady Margaret Hall, tried unsuccessfully to raise £8,000 to keep a painting of a murdered Irish model at the college. The painting was sold at auction in Oxford today for £6,500.

The former Guardian editor set up a JustGiving page on Wednesday to prevent the painting being sold away from the college. However, in the two days since the petition was launched, just £80 was raised.

Rusbridger told Cherwell: “I only heard about the painting being auctioned two days ago and it was always going to be a very tall order to crowdfund the money within that time.

“It would have been lovely to have had it on public view at LMH. We gave it a go but sadly time wasn’t on our side and the moment has passed.”

William Strang’s portrait depicts Eileen ‘Dolly’ Henry, an Irish model who was murdered in 1914 by her lover, the artist John Currie.

On his JustGiving page, Rusbridger wrote that the painting can “serve as a resource to reflect on sexual violence, obsession, the role of the ‘muse’ and changing ideas of female sexuality”.

He added that it seemed fitting for the painting to hang at Lady Margaret Hall, the first college to admit women.

Rusbridger said Currie was Henry’s “on-off boyfriend”, and abused the model until she escaped to London.

Currie stalked her to her new Chelsea apartment, spent the night with her, and then shot her.

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