Academic Session 18: Warwick 2011

AAH Annual Conference 2011
31 March – 2 April, University of Warwick

Writing Irish Art Histories

Session Convenors:

Caroline McGee and Niamh NicGhabhann, University of Dublin, Trinity College,;

Can Irish archaeology, and by extension, Irish art history, be classified as belonging within the nationalistic tradition? The aim of this session is to consider seminal
discourses on Irish art and architectural history as texts located within their social and political context. Irish art history has changed and continues to change,
encompassing new critical positions, dialogues and understandings. While past discussions have focused on the histories of art objects, buildings and monuments, this session aims to examine the meta-narrative of art history in Ireland, rooting our exploration in the texts produced – survey texts, journal articles, lectures and debates,
monographs, editorials. The late 18th century to the mid- 20th century was a formative period in the discovery and understanding of Irish art, architecture and culture. It was a period in which excavations, publications and research enterprises formed a crucial backdrop to the contemporary understanding of what constitutes ‘Irish’
culture. History writing in Ireland has undergone constant revisions and renewals, from Geoffrey Keating to the revisionism debates of the 1980s. How have cultural histories engaged with these debates? Session themes and issues might include:
• the role of the text underpinning the concept of the ‘canon’
• the ‘travelling text’ – texts in Ireland / Irish texts abroad
• the acceptance or rejection of the concept of the ‘canon’
• cultural histories and nationalism in Ireland, Europe and the world
• texts and regionalism
• alternative histories
We welcome proposals which address the Irish context and/or comparative studies of similar cultural patterns in other locations.

Speakers & Papers

Christopher Jordan (Independent curator and art historian)
Ruskin and Celtic Art

Mary Jane Boland (University of Nottingham)
Interdisciplinarity and historiography of early-nineteenth century Irish art 

Róisín Kennedy (University College Dublin)
Irish Art History, Thomas MacGreevy and the Capuchin Annual

Craig Richardson (Northumbria University, Newcastle)
What are the contemporary benefits of the term ‘Irish Art’?

Una Walker (National College of Art and Design, Dublin)
Kilkenny Design Workshops and the ‘plain style’: Why Scandinavian design ideologies were imported into 1960s Ireland

Gabriel N. Gee (GEIAB, France)
The catalogues of the Orchard Gallery: A contribution to critical and historical
discourses Northern Ireland, 1978–2003

Caroline McGee
and Niamh NicGhabhann Respondents