NEW YORK—Artist Damien Hirst purchased a 300-room mansion in the Cotswolds, England, that he plans to convert into a museum to house his artworks.
Hirst reportedly paid £3 million ($5.5 million) for the 124-acre Toddington Manor estate in Gloucestershire, said to be one of the country’s largest private homes. The house is reportedly in need of extensive repairs that will likely take years to complete.
“Damien fell in love with it instantly,” a spokesman for the artist told Britain’s Times. “He is familiar with the area as he has a large working studio in Gloucestershire. He regards the house as his largest piece of artwork to date. It will be a lifetime’s work.”
Hirst is one of the top-selling British artists. Earlier this year Saatchi sold his installation of a shark in formaldehyde, reportedly for about $12 million (see ANL, 1/4/05), to Connecticut hedge fund manager Steven Cohen.
At auction the top price to date for Hirst’s work was the £1.2 million ($2.2 million) paid for The Fragile Truth, a 1997-98 installation featuring glass, stainless steel and drug packaging. It was sold at Sotheby’s London last October as part of an auction of the contents of Hirst’s failed London restaurant Pharmacy (see ANL, 10/26/04). The sale also produced the second-best auction price for his work when another installation, The Sleep of Reason, 1997-98, fetched £1.1 million ($1.9 million). Each piece had been estimated at £400,000/600,000.