John B Flannagan Evening, Ireland 1932-33 black marble 44(h)cm Courtesy of Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan


Flannagan was ecstatic about his first encounter with Ireland and particularly the abundance of different stones lying in the fields in Connemara, writes Paula Murphy

A small intimate sculptural work by Irish-American John B Flannagan was placed in off-site storage for the Hugh Lane Gallery last winter while the building was undergoing refurbishment. Mother and Child, worked in limestone and measuring a mere 38cm, was carved in Ireland in the early 1930s and was gifted to the gallery in 1936 by Judge C P Curran and his wife.

In a letter written from Clifden in June 1930 to his art dealer, Carl Zigrosser in New York, Flannagan describes ‘the rocky wilds of Connemara’, where he was living at the time, as being ‘a sculptor’s dream’.

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