Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Saturday, August 6th, 2022
    George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson – Naval Steam Frigate moored off Queenstown (with Haulbowline in the background) 

    Links to Titanic and Lusitania are just one part of the extraordinary history of Cork Harbour.  There is still time to catch a glimpse of just how deep and wide that history is at the Port of Cork Collection exhibition at the Crawford Gallery which runs until August 28. Last November’s donation of unique maritime artworks from The Port of Cork to the gallery consists of 17 maritime paintings, a 1912 ships register referencing both Titanic and Lusitania, an illuminated address to Charles Stewart Parnell and a silver Admiralty oar from 1686.  Art by George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson (1806-1884), Henry Albert Hartland (1840-1893), Robert Lowe Stopford (1813-1898) and Sean Keating (1889-1977) offers insights into the operations of the port down through the years.


    Thursday, August 4th, 2022
    Dr Caroline Campbell

    Dr. Caroline Campbell has been appointed as the first female director in the 158 year history of the National Gallery of Ireland. She will take up her post in November. Dr Campbell becomes the 14th director since the gallery first opened in 1864.

    Born and raised in Belfast the incoming director has a career spanning three leading international art museums as a curator and senior leader. She has held positions at the Ashmolean Museum, the Courtauld Gallery and has worked as Director of Collections and Research at the National Gallery, London since 2018.

    A graduate of the University of Oxford and the Courtauld Institute of Art, and an alumna of the Center for Curatorial Leadership in New York, Dr Campbell has an outstanding reputation for delivering research, engagement and digital programmes, illustrating her wide-ranging expertise in Western Art from the Middle Ages to the present day. She has curated several major exhibitions, published widely, and is active as a trustee of several arts organisations in the UK.

    Mary Keane, Chairperson of the Board of Governors and Guardians of the National Gallery of Ireland, commented: “The Board of the Gallery is delighted to make this announcement today. We are thrilled to have a person of Caroline’s calibre join the Gallery team and look forward to welcoming her later this year. Caroline’s impressive experience, knowledge and passion will inspire both the Gallery team and our visitors, and we eagerly anticipate seeing her vision for the Gallery brought to life in the coming years. Caroline will become the Gallery’s 14th Director, and her arrival will be groundbreaking as she will be the first woman director of the Gallery since it opened in 1864.

    The Board would like to thank outgoing Director Sean Rainbird for the innovation and skill he has brought to his role at the Gallery since 2012. It has been wonderful to work with him through the highs and the lows: everything from the once-in-a-lifetime moment of the Gallery reopening following refurbishment five years ago to navigating the challenging pandemic years. We wish him all the very best in the future.”

    Dr Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery, London, said: “Caroline has an established international reputation as a curator of Renaissance art and she has been an innovative exhibition curator. Since 2018 she has been an excellent Director of Collections and Research at the National Gallery in London. She is a gifted art historian and a highly talented communicator; she is a skilled manager and has an impressive network of professional contacts. Naturally we will miss her in London, but I wish her every success as Director of the National Gallery of Ireland where she will bring new vision and energy to one of Europe’s great national art collections. With Caroline at the helm in Dublin, I look forward to even closer collaboration with the National Gallery of Ireland.”


    Thursday, August 4th, 2022
    Marquetry decorated ormolu mounted table. UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,200 AT HAMMER

    Lot 547 at Matthews sale online at Kells, Co. Meath on August 7 is this antique marquetry decorated ormolu mounted table. It is estimated at 1,200-1,800. The most expensively estimated lot at this jewellery, gold and antique sale is a gentleman’s Rolex wristwatch (6,000-8,000) (UPDATE – 6,100 AT HAMMER). The sale is comprised of 560 lots of jewellery, gold and silver and nearly 200 lots of antique furniture, mirrors, rugs, pictures and porcelain. The catalogue is online and viewing gets underway in Kells A at noon on August 5.


    Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022
    YAYOI KUSAMA (B.1929) – Love Was Infinitely Shining

    Work by the celebrated Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama does not turn up very often at auction in Ireland. This fine China plate, entitled Love was Infinitely Shining is lot 127 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s next online auction of Irish art which runs until August 8. The catalogue for the sale is online. The estimate for lot 127 is 400-600.


    Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022
    JOHN BUTLER YEATS (1839-1922) – William Butler Yeats. UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,000 AT HAMMER

    This drawing of the poet W.B. Yeats by his father John Butler Yeats has attracted some competitive bidding at Morgan O’Driscoll’s online sale of Irish art which closes this evening. Estimated at 800-1,200 the small pencil drawing measuring 12″ x 9.4″ originally in the Yeats family collection has so far attracted 48 bids. The current bid on lot 44 stands at 3,000. The catalogue is online.


    Saturday, July 30th, 2022
    Pauline Bewick (1935-2022) – Sleeping Beauties at Morgan O’Driscoll (€800-€1,200). UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,200 AT HAMMER

    The height of the holiday season has not deterred two west Cork based auctioneers from planning sales for Tuesday August 2.  The evening art sale by Morgan O’Driscoll next Tuesday can be viewed in Skibbereen today, on Monday and on Tuesday.  The selection is impressive and among the artists featured on the catalogue are Sean Scully, Louis le Brocquy, Felim Egan, Basil Blackshaw, Letitia Marion Hamilton, Colin Middleton, Mary Swanzy, William Crozier, Cecil Maguire and Pauline Bewick who died on Thursday at her home in Co. Kerry, with sculpture by Helen Walsh, Ray Delaney, Oisin Kelly and John Behan. 

    In Bandon Hegarty’s August fine interiors sale features a selection of over 200 lots of  furniture, art, silver, jewellery and collectibles.  An 18 carat Columbian emerald and diamond cluster ring is estimated at €11,000-€12,000.  Among the other highlights is a pair of black cast iron benches (€1,000-€1,200), a mixed media on canvas by Philippe Aird (€800-€1,200), a stone bust on pillar of Mark Anthony (€400-€600) and a bronze bust of Diane of Poitiers (€300-€600). The catalogues for both sales are online.  


    Friday, July 29th, 2022

    THE artist Pauline Bewick – acclaimed for the fineness of her line – has died at the age of 86. Bewick died at her home in Glenbeigh, Co. Kerry where she has been based since 1973. Born in the North of England Bewick was raised primarily in Co. Kerry. She worked in a variety of mediums from oil and watercolour to stained glass, tapestry and sculpture. In a tribute President Michael D. Higgins spoke of her original and unique creative talent. She is survived by artist daughters Poppy and Holly Melia. Pauline Bewick was pre-deceased by her husband Pat Melia.

    PAULINE BEWICK RHA – LILIES AND REEKS, 1990-1996 sold for €2,700 at Whyte’s in Dublin in 2012


    Thursday, July 28th, 2022
    JULIUS OLSSON (1864 – 1942) Dunluce Castle, 1930’s

    This 1930’s poster depicting the Northern Ireland beauty spot Dunluce Castle in Co Antrim was the top lot at the James Adam sale of the John Rogers Vintage Poster Collection in Dublin this week. Designed by Julius Olsson it tripled its estimate to sell for €3,200. Five bidders competed and executed a total of twenty two bids before the hammer came down. The online auction was 96% sold and made €103,000, which exceeded the top estimate. One unusual result was that on average each purchaser bought three lots.


    Sunday, July 24th, 2022
    Rene Gruau – Panache,  La Nouvelle Revue du Lido (€150-€200). UPDATE: THIS MADE 200 AT HAMMER

    Nothing evokes a bygone era or jogs a memory quite like a poster.  There are some wonderful ones at the James Adam online sale of the collection of John Rogers which runs until July 27. On offer are 420 posters, many anonymous, others designed by famous and collectible artists from Andy Warhol to Rene Gruau.  There is highly affordable work here from artists like Walter Hofmann, Niki de Saint Phalle, Dick Eiffers, Ludwig Hohlwein, David Klein and Piet Sluis, the late Dutch artist who came to live in Ireland in the 1950’s.

    A poster advertising train travel in Spain put me in mind of Dorothy Parker  travelling from France to Madrid with a linguistically gifted companion.  At the border he spoke no Spanish.  By the time they reached their destination she reported that he was helping the natives along with their subjunctives.  Armed with a post grad in Art History and some experience gained at Christie’s the late John Rogers opened Gallery 29 in Dublin in 2004. This was a lot more than just another poster shop and the sale is a tribute to his discriminating eye for quality.

    Spanish train poster by an anonymous artist (€150-€200). UPDATE: THIS MADE 340 AT HAMMER


    Saturday, July 23rd, 2022
    Sean Scully, Wall Paris Blue, 2021 © Sean Scully. Photo: Elisabeth Bernstein.

    An exhibition of new works by Sean Scully opens today at Thaddeus Ropac in Salzburg, Austria. It brings together large scale paintings from his most formative series including Wall of Light and Landline. A monumental 2020 sculpture  entitled Indoor Sleeper in the gallery’s outdoor space offers and insight into his sculptural practice. This show follows the acclaimed 50 year retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art until July 31.  Major institutional exhibitions of Scully’s are currently underway in Neuss Germany, Bologna Italy and Torun in Poland.