Thursday, November 11, 2010

Aloysius O'Kelly Lecture

Professor Niamh O'Sullivan of the National College of Art and Design will give the last in our current series of lectures on 16th November at 6.30 pm in the library. Her topic will be the Dublin-born painter Aloysius O'Kelly (1853-1936).

Professor O'Sullivan's extensive research on O'Kelly culminated this year in the publication of her book Aloysius O'Kelly : Art, Nation, Empire which combines a biography of the painter with an illustrated catalogue of his work.

O'Kelly's Mass in a Connemara Cabin (shown above) is perhaps one of his most familiar images today. The story of how an Edinburgh priest, alerted via an internet article that Prof. O'Sullivan was trying to locate this painting, contacted her to say that he had a work signed by O'Kelly hanging in his sitting-room, is well known. The archbishop of Edinburgh, once the work had been identified, generously offered it on permanent loan to the National Gallery in Dublin.

Interestingly, as Fintan Cullen has noted, the painting was originally exhibited in the Paris Salon of 1884: the first painting of an Irish subject to be included since the Salon's inauguration in the early 18th century.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Our Newman Lecture

As announced in my last posting, Dr Teresa Iglesias was due to give a lecture on Newman on October 19th. She had to withdraw at the last moment, and Dr Angelo Bottone kindly agreed to replace her. (Copies of Teresa Iglesias's edition of Newman's Idea of a University are available for loan from our Lending department).

Dr Bottone focused on Newman's Dublin writings, and on his general experiences as founding rector of the Catholic University. The talk drew on Dr Bottone's recently published book The Philosophical Habit of Mind : rhetoric and person in John Henry Newman's Dublin writings". If you would like to know more about Angelo's work as a lecturer and author, see his blog at

Our Newman exhibition, with a number of first editons and some interesting visual material on display, continues until 21st November, due to public interest.