Weekly Feature


In Celebration of Ireland: Irish Artists

March 16, 2011
by findingDulcinea Staff
Like much of Irish culture, art serves to preserve this long-standing group of citizens and uphold the traditions and accomplishments of Ireland’s past. Looking to the north, Irish artists often comment on The Troubles of Northern Ireland, reflect on their U.K. neighbors to the east, or remain at home, studying the ethnicities and personalities that make up Ireland proper.

Painting Irish History

Jack Butler Yeats (1871-1957), brother of poet William, is one of the best-known Irish painters of all time.

Viewable on the Web site of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. are several of Yeats’ works that display the influence of Toulouse-Lautrec: colorful, undulating crowds, as in “People Preoccupied,” or rippling landscapes in oil or watercolor.

He was also a portraitist, and a brilliant example can be viewed at the site of the Ashmolean Museum of Art & Archaeology at Oxford University.

View a slideshow of dozens of Yeats’s work, accompanied by traditional Irish vocal music, on YouTube.

Observations Across the Border: The Troubles

An online photo exhibition of Bloody Sunday, one of Northern Ireland’s most dramatic events, shows how a peaceful civil rights protest devolved into a chaotic and deadly fight against British soldiers and police in Derry in 1972. (Some images may be disturbing to viewers.) Trisha Ziff at the University of California, Riverside, curated the exhibit and employs black and white photos from several eyewitnesses of the events.

Observations Through a Lens

In its piece on the Irish photographer Alen MacWeeney, Smithsonian Magazine links the passion of an artist with the culture of his countrymen, including Ireland’s ethnic minority, a nomadic group of people known as Travellers. Through photography, MacWeeney became one of the “foremost amateur anthropologists of Traveller culture,” proving once again the power of the image.

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