Desmond Guinness, Cofounder of Irish Georgian Society, Dies at 88

Desmond Guinness on the premises of Leixlip Castle..
Picture: Slim Aarons/Getty ImagesAs the New York Times observed in a 2008 profile, “Given that they did not need to work for a living (Mr. Guinness lived off family money), they were in an uncommon position, they understood, to do something about it.” The brewery scion cheerfully concurred, including, “You understand, we were complimentary. We didnt need to go to the office every early morning.” That very same year, he and his wife bought Leixlip Castle, not awfully far from Dublin, and restored the 12th-century fortress themselves, utilizing dazzling paint colors and employing a shared eccentric eye, so much so that it ended up being one of the most remarkable interiors that Horst P. Horst photographed for Vogue. After having 2 kids, the Guinnesses separated in 1969 and divorced in 1981. (Mariga Guinness passed away 8 years later on and is buried beneath Conollys Folly, an ornamental 18th-century structure that they saved in the 1960s.) His survivors include his partner, the former Penelope Cuthbertson, a Lucian Freud muse, whom he married in 1984; a boy and daughter from his very first marriage, historian and former Irish Georgian Society president Patrick Guinness and Irish-music patron Marina Guinness; and several grandchildren, amongst them style model Jasmine Guinness. Among his nieces is Daphne Guinness, the style icon and singer.Desmond Guinness, flanked by Marianne Faithfull and Mick Jagger, at Leixlip Castle.
Image: Slim Aarons/Getty ImagesAided and abetted by likeminded buddies such as Desmond FitzGerald, 29th Knight of Glin, the vibrant young Guinnesses put Irish Georgian architecture, furnishings, art, and ornamental arts onto the international stage in the 1960s, winning the respect of formerly sniffy scholars as well as lovers who snapped up great Irish antiques at then-bargain prices. “The lead was being stripped from the roofing system,” Desmond Guinness remembered in a 1998 newspaper interview.” I relate to these homes as works of art,” Guinness told the New York Times in 1985.

His survivors include his wife, the previous Penelope Cuthbertson, a Lucian Freud muse, whom he wed in 1984; a boy and child from his first marital relationship, historian and previous Irish Georgian Society president Patrick Guinness and Irish-music customer Marina Guinness; and several grandchildren, amongst them fashion model Jasmine Guinness. One of his nieces is Daphne Guinness, the fashion icon and singer.Desmond Guinness, flanked by Marianne Faithfull and Mick Jagger, at Leixlip Castle.
“The lead was being removed from the roofing system,” Desmond Guinness remembered in a 1998 newspaper interview.” I regard these houses as works of art,” Guinness informed the New York Times in 1985.