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Art and Architecture of Ireland reviewed in the Irish Times

17 January 2015
The Royal Irish Academy’s Art and Architecture of Ireland project took 6 years to complete, contains over 2 million words, 3,000 pages and 1,600 years of culture.

Art and Architecture of Ireland has been compiled by a community of scholars committed to overcoming any view of the visual arts as the poor relation in a country celebrated for its literature – a country where, in the words of one contributor, “Irish artists remained in the wings”.

In her review, Vera Kreilkamp, describes the project as ‘accessible: this scholarship responds not just to the need of professionals in the visual arts for a comprehensive resource in their areas but also to the curiosity of ordinary citizens too often shut out by a hermetically sealed international arts criticism’.

She continues: ‘This project leans on but also vastly enlarges the scope of The Dictionary of Irish Artists, by Walter Strickland, a 1913 achievement creating what one contributor calls the first database of Irish art. Updating that foundational work was an initial goal of Art and Architecture of Ireland, and Strickland’s focus on retrieving figures, offering biographies and establishing a canon of fine arts has been now much expanded to encompass a full commitment to medieval art, sculpture and architecture, with some limited exploration of material culture and design. (A full volume addressing the applied arts, including Ireland’s impressive contributions in the decorative arts, might be a valuable future project.)’

Read the Irish Times review.

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