Obituary: Ian Hill

The noted arts critic passes away aged 73

CultureNorthernIreland have learned with regret that one of Northern Ireland's leading art critics, Ian Hill, died suddenly of a suspected heart attack on Friday, July 16 2010, at the age of 73.

Hill was an art critic, travel writer and journalist who worked for several newspapers, including the News Letter, Irish Times and, latterly, The Ulster Tatler. He was also the 'Man About Town' columnist for the Belfast Telegraph, a contributor to BBC Radio Ulster and, over the years, a familiar voice on Radio Ulster's Arts Extra programme.

Educated at Portora Royal School in Enniskillen, Hill went on to graduate in dentistry at Queen's University, Belfast. Whilst at Queen's he edited the student publications The Gown and Q, as well as co-editing the Northern Review.

Hill was on the board of several arts organisations in Northern Ireland, including the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival. Parallel to his career as a journalist, columnist and presenter, Hill was for ten years a director of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and is the author and contributor to many travel books about Ireland.

A recent publication of Hill's was the illustrated book My Lagan Love, published by Cottage Publications, 'an informed and informative social history' of the river.

Hill contributed a seminal essay on 'Arts Administration' to Stepping Stones, the Arts in Ulster, 1971-2001 (Blackstaff Press, 2001), the third volume in the 'Arts in Ulster' series, covering the development of Arts Council policy and practice.

Ian Hill is survived by his wife, Helena - whom he met whilst at university - and his two daughters. His wife described him as 'a great man who will be dearly missed'.