The April Aosdána General Assembly will be a special occasion for its members as it is the first to be held following the passing of its founder and guiding spirit, Anthony Cronin. But apart from that, the main focus as usual will be on the election of new members for which there are six vacancies this year.
Dalkey-based artist John Keating has been commissioned by the OPW to paint the official portrait of the former Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett.
Although the foundation of the History of Art department in TCD was undoubtedly the major achievement in Anne Crookshank’s long and distinguished academic career, she will probably be best remembered for the landmark publication in 1978 of Painters of Ireland c. 1660-1920, with Desmond FitzGerald, the Knight of Glin.
The last time Alex Pentek was mentioned in these pages (Spring 2014 p8), he had just secured a commission for a giant violin cast in Corten steel to be partially submerged on a bank of the N5 Longford bypass. Now he has moved on to a much larger commission for the City of Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia with a budget of €220,000.
‘All of the above is intended to be done with no planning permission because the relevant authorities are seeking exemptions. However, ‘Exempted Development’ exceptions only pertains if “the works would not affect the character of the structure”.’
‘The National Museum on Kildare Street was built by the firm of J and W Beckett, respectively grandfather and granduncle of Samuel Beckett. This seems somehow apt. There is a black and bleak humour to the way the Seanad is moving in on the building – and this Beckettian tone is about the only part of this disgraceful saga that shows any awareness of Ireland’s artistic and cultural heritage.’ Read Fintan O’Toole’s article in the Irish Times here.
As we go to press, more than 2,400 people from all over Ireland and many from abroad have signed the Irish Arts Review Appeal to An Taoiseach to call an immediate halt to the proposed move of the Seanad into the National Museum building on Kildare Street.
An editorial in The Irish Times today (1 November 2016) castigates the proposal to move the Seanad into the National Museum building as ‘an atrocious decision verging on vandalism which must be reversed’.
There has been barely a pip of protest against the pernicious suggestion that the Museum building on Kildare Street should be given over to the Senate while restoration work is carried out on the latter.
If you love the plastic arts, don’t miss Catherine Greene’s sculpture exhibition within the faded splendour of the IGS headquarters, today called City House but originally Assembly House on Dublin’s South William Street.