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.