The Arts and Crafts Movement: Making it Irish
During a year of commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising, this exhibition offers the first comprehensive examination of the Irish Art and Crafts movement. Like the more familiar Irish Literary Revival, Arts and Crafts practice accompanied and shaped the visual imagination of the country’s transformation from colony to independent nation. As its centerpiece, the exhibition introduces dazzling early medieval-influenced metalwork and embroidered textiles from University College Cork’s Honan Chapel. The collection of this ideologically charged masterpiece of Arts and Crafts achievement, consecrated in 1916, has never before traveled beyond Cork.
The exhibition also features Wilhelmina Geddes’s and Harry Clarke’s stained glass panels that evoke a Celtic and early Christian past, but gesture toward the innovative modernism characterizing the Literary Revival. Other objects on display include handcrafted furniture and metalwork, carpets and wall hangings, and jewelry replicating early medieval metalwork. They illustrate both the widespread popular dissemination of Revivalist motifs and the philanthropic promotion of handicraft industries that initiated the Arts and Crafts movement in Ireland.
Major lenders include the National Museum of Ireland, National College of Art and Design, Crawford Art Gallery, National Library of Ireland, Honan Chapel, Ulster Museum, and international private collectors.
The accompanying catalogue, edited by Vera Kreilkamp, contains essays by scholars from Ireland, Northern Ireland, and North America. A digital guide to the exhibition has been produced by Joseph Nugent and students in his digital humanities course.
Organized by the McMullen Museum, the exhibition has been curated by Vera Kreilkamp and Diana Larsen in collaboration with Virginia Teehan (University College Cork) and underwritten by Boston College, the Patrons of the McMullen Museum, and an anonymous donor in honor of Colman Welby, with transportation provided by Aer Lingus.
Image Caption: Harry Clarke (1889–1931), The Baptism of St. Patrick, 1912. Stained glass; 81.3 x 105.4 x 5.1 cm, National College of Art and Design, Dublin
Museum Hours: M-F, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Sa-Su, 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. Closed March 25 & 27, April 18, and May 30. Docent tours on Sundays at 2:00 p.m. starting February 2, 2016.
Sunday, June 5, 2016
Devlin Hall, McMullen Museum of Art
Devlin Hall, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467