Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

One man’s artistic wonderland, created secretly in rented apartment, given protected status

RonRon Gittins, an eccentric artist who lived in Birkenhead, England, for three decades, secretly transformed his rental apartment into a work of art. His family discovered his extensive decorations and murals depicting historical scenes after his death in 2019. 

Despite his reclusive nature, Gittins was known for his flamboyance and unconventional behavior, often seen in costume around town. His apartment was filled with clutter and hand-written notes, revealing his challenging yet creative personality. Following his death, his niece Jan Williams and her partner Chris Teasdale initiated a campaign to preserve "Ron's Place." They established the Wirral Arts and Culture Community Land Trust (WACCLT), which successfully obtained Grade II listing for the property. 

Historic England recognized the significance of Gittins' work as an example of Outsider Art, describing it as art created by individuals without formal training or regard for conventional artistic structures. Plans are underway to stabilize and preserve the artwork for a micro-museum, with hopes of converting other apartments in the building into spaces for artistic creation. Gittins' legacy serves as a reminder to embrace creativity and unconventionality.

For more information see Lianne Kolirin “One man’s artistic wonderland, created secretly in rented apartment, given protected status”, CNN Style, April 7, 2024.

Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention. 

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2024/04/one-mans-artistic-wonderland-created-secretly-in-rented-apartment-given-protected-status.html

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