Events Spring 2022 Lecture Series

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Spring 2022 Lecture Series

08.02.2022, 00:00 A.M.

The Irish Georgian Society hopes to host lectures in the City Assembly House but this will be subject to COVID-19 guidelines. The lecture will be available to book virtually (pre-recorded lecture) or to attend in the City Assembly House (live ticket) with the latter subject to restricted numbers and government guidelines.

More information and updates will be circulated closer to the time in terms of delivery.

Lectures descriptions below. Please take note of the date as the confirmation email will state the dates for the whole series and not each individual lecture booking.

Ticket Price: €12 (in the City Assembly House) / €10 (Virtual)

Time: 6pm (Registration from 5.30pm)

  • Tuesday 11 January – A Little History of the Future of Dublin with Frank McDonald - Frank McDonald explores visions of the city, from the work of the Duke of Ormonde to Abercrombie's Dublin of the Future, through the excesses of the Celtic Tiger, to the decisions taken in the aftermath of the property crash. Then he will address with a plan for how the city could once again become one of the great small capitals of Europe. Frank McDonald began his journalism career with the Irish Press in the 1970s. He joined the Irish Times in 1979, becoming Environment Correspondent in 1986 and later Environment Editor in 2000, finally retiring in 2015. Throughout his career, his writing has focused on planning and development in Dublin. His books include The Destruction of Dublin, Saving the City, The Construction of Dublin, Truly Frank: a Dublin Memoir and A Little History of the Future of Dublin, just published by Martello.
  • Tuesday 25 January –The Georgian villa landscape of Co. Cork with Vandra Costello - The suburban villa was a feature of the eighteenth-century landscape, particularly in seaside settings. The coastal geography of Cork city and its suburbs, with its estuaries, creeks and harbours made it a particularly attractive site for building villas. Many villa owners were from the burgeoning Cork middle class; rich merchants whose business interests lay in the docks, breweries, and factories of the city. Visitors to Cork from the late eighteenth century onwards were entranced by the villa landscape south and east of the city, where ‘the whole tract along the Lower Lee, and especially between Cork and Passage’ This talk will look at some of the villas, both old and new, in maritime and riparian Cork during the Georgian period. Vandra is a garden writer, historic gardens and landscape historian She writes a regular garden column for both Image Interiors and Garden Heaven Magazines and regularly publishes articles on garden and landscape history. She wrote a book Irish Demesne Landscapes 1660-1740 published by Four Courts Press.

  • Tuesday 8 February – Illuminating Glass with Dr David Caron - A talk on 120 years of Irish Stained Glass by Dr David Caron. Thirty years after it was first published and edited by Michael Wynne, Nicola Gordon Bowe and David Caron, The Gazetteer of Irish Stained Glass has been expanded and redesigned in 2021 by Irish Academic Press. This definitive guide to 20th century Irish stained glass artists - and their work in Ireland and worldwide - features works by the well-known artists of An Túr Gloine, and Harry Clarke. Edited by David Caron and with several respected contributors and gorgeous photographs by Josef Vrtiel, The Gazetteer (available in IGS bookshop) will encourage exploration of rural and urban churches sometimes passed by. Dr Caron's talk will encourage members to look out and look up!
  • Tuesday 8 March – Painting Dublin, 1886 - 1949: Visualising a Changing City with Dr Kathryn Milligan - This lecture examines the depiction of Dublin by artists from the late-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Artists' representations of the city have long been markers of civic pride and identity. Framed by the shift from city of empire to capital of an independent republic, this talk will examine artworks by Walter Osborne, Rose Barton, Jack B. Yeats, Harry Kernoff, Estella Solomons and Flora Mitchell, encompassing a variety of urban views and artistic themes. While Dublin is already renowned for its representation in literature, the lecture offers a vivid visualisation of the city's streets and inhabitants at a crucial time in its history. Dr Kathryn Milligan is an art historian specialising in nineteenth and twentieth century Irish art. From 2015, Kathryn was the inaugural ESB Fellow at the ESB Centre for the Study of Irish Art at the National Gallery of Ireland and an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Art History and Cultural Policy, UCD. Her first monograph, Painting Dublin, 1886 - 1949: Visualising a changing city, was published by Manchester University Press in 2020.
  • Tuesday 22 March – Portraits of Elite Irish Women and the political sensibilities of the Irish Ascendency with Priscilla Sonnier - This lecture reconsiders the visual and cultural significance of elite Anglo-Irish women’s portraits to shaping Protestant and gendered identity in Ireland throughout the eighteenth-century. Formal representations of Ireland’s ‘women of quality’, uniquely evolved in meaning from their British counterparts within the patriotic sensibilities of ‘improvement’ to express unique and emblematic patterns of behaviour which were to be emulated and revered among Ireland’s elite.. Priscilla Sonnier is currently finishing her PhD Celebrated Beauties: Dialogues, Duty and Display in Georgian Ireland (1730-1790) at University College Dublin. Her research focuses on the evolution of elite female portraiture in Ireland throughout the eighteenth century, with a broader interest in material and visual culture in the British Isles and has been featured at conferences and symposia hosted by The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, The Historians of Eighteenth Century Art and Architecture, Penn State University and American University. Priscilla is also the Desmond Guinness Scholarship recipient for 2020.
  • Tuesday 5 April – The Irish Country House Garden: A Potted History with Robert O’Byrne - Like the country houses that stand at their centre, Ireland’s historic gardens have long had a distinctive character. It has been shaped by certain obvious elements, such as topography and climate which allows not just indigenous plants but an enormous variety of imported species to flourish in the most unlikely settings: shrubs and trees native to the Himalayan foothills, to inland China, to Australia and South America can all be found thriving on Irish soil. But the character of Ireland herself and her inhabitants have also played a part in deciding what would be the form and content of our great gardens. In his talk, Robert O’Byrne will look at the evolution of Ireland’s country house gardens, from their emergence in the late 16th century through to the start of the 20th century, showing some of the finest examples across the island, and setting the scene for the exhibition in IGS for May 2022.
  • Tuesday 19 April – “A material expression of the faith and hope and moral sentiments of Christendom" with Niamh McGhabhann - This lecture will examine the importance of transnational Catholic heritage to Irish church-building in the 19th and 20th centuries. Niamh NicGhabhann is an art and architectural historian, and senior lecturer in the Department of History, University of Limerick. She has a B.A. and PhD from Trinity College Dublin, and her research has focused on the political, social, and religious significance of medieval ruins during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her book, Medieval ecclesiastical buildings in Ireland, 1789-1915: Building on the Past was published by Four Courts Press in 2015, and her current book project focuses on Roman Catholic architecture in Ireland between 1828 and 1939. She convenes the Material and Cultural Heritages of Religion in Ireland research network


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