posted on November 21st, 2014

1600 Years Of Irish Art And Architecture

Art and Architecture of Ireland, described as the most important publication on Irish art and architecture ever published, was launched in Belfast City Hall recently.

The five-volume, 1600-year history, which took six years to complete, is the work of 10 editors and over 250 contributors. It explores all aspects of Irish art and architecture — from high crosses to installation art, from Georgian houses to illuminated manuscripts, from watercolours and sculptures to photographs, oil paintings, video art and tapestries. It is regarded as the most comprehensive study of Irish art and architecture ever undertaken.

The deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA said: “Art and architecture has the potential to transform our community, economy and greatly enhances all our lives. As a society we must nurture the creativity and imagination of the artist and architect to create, for without creativity, without imagination, life would be dull.

The lesson of history is we must protect our legacy for future generations to enjoy and appreciate. We owe a great debt of gratitude to the Royal Irish Academy, the Paul Mellon Centre and the Yale University Press for undertaking this remarkable project. I congratulate everyone involved for creating such a fascinating and superbly illustrated account of Irish art and architecture through the centuries.”

Belfast Lord Mayor, Councillor Nichola Mallon said: “I am delighted to help launch this publication celebrating the best of Irish Art and Architecture. The impressive collection of works contained in each volume, will showcase and provide new insights into the creative talent that exists across Ireland to the rest of the world.”

The editors of the five volumes are: Volume 1, Medieval c. 400–c.1600, editor Rachel Moss; Volume 2, Painting 1600–1900, editor Nicola Figgis; Volume 3, Sculpture 1600–2000, editor Paula Murphy; Volume 4, Architecture 1600–2000, editors: Rolf Loeber; Hugh Campbell; Livia Hurley; John Montague and Ellen Rowley; and Volume 5, Twentieth Century, editors, Catherine Marshall and Peter Murray.

Professor Mary E. Daly, President of the Royal Irish Academy. said that ‘Art and Architecture of Ireland firmly establishes Ireland’s visual culture as a fundamental pillar of our cultural identity, and it scotches the notion that Ireland has little or no visual culture.’

The project was funded by the Naughton Foundation and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. It is published by Yale University Press for the Royal Irish Academy and the Paul Mellon Centre.

Find out more: