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Exhibition Opening - Stones, Slabs and Seascapes: George Victor du Noyer’s Images of Ireland

A selection of watercolours and drawings to mark the bicentenary of George Victor du Noyer’s birth.


PRESS RELEASE ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF IRELAND
31.05.2018

Exhibition opening:
Stones, Slabs and Seascapes: George Victor du Noyer’s Images of Ireland

A selection of watercolours and drawings to mark the bicentenary of George Victor du Noyer’s birth.

Director of Geological Survey Ireland, Koen Verbruggen MRIA will officially launch the exhibition at the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, Dublin.

 
 
On the morning of Tuesday 5 June 2018, Koen Verbruggen MRIA, Director of Geological Survey Ireland, will officially launch Stones, Slabs and Seascapes: George Victor du Noyer’s Images of Ireland, an exhibition at the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, Dublin.
 
For over half a century, Irish artist and surveyor George Victor du Noyer travelled the length and breadth of the country to make drawings and paintings for the Irish Ordnance Survey and the Geological Survey of Ireland. Stones, Slabs and Seascapes, an exhibition of watercolours and drawings, was curated to mark the bicentenary of his birth.
 
Located on the ground floor of the National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History at Collins Barracks, Dublin, the exhibition features artworks from the collections of the National Museum of Ireland, Geological Survey Ireland, the Royal Irish Academy and the National Botanic Gardens.
 
The exhibition, by the Crawford Art Gallery, is curated by Petra Coffey and Peter Murray and sponsored by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Geological Survey Ireland, Carmel and Martin Naughton, Crawford Art Gallery and the National Museum of Ireland.

In attendance at the launch will be Lynn Scarff, the Director of the National Museum of Ireland. Speaking ahead of the launch, which will be her first official event in her position as Director, Ms Scarff said: “I am delighted to see Du Noyer celebrated in this exhibition, a man who combined great talents in both art and science. I am also pleased to present this exhibition in collaboration with the Crawford Art Gallery, one of our sister National Cultural Institutions.”
 
Petra Coffey, one of the two curators of the exhibition, said: “Du Noyer has been my hero since 1984 when I was researching Huguenots in Ireland and his name popped up in a lecture on geology, uniting two of my passions.”
 
The other curator of the exhibition, Peter Murray, said: “With the George Petrie exhibition in 2004, the Crawford Art Gallery embarked on a series of projects celebrating outstanding Irish artists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It is a delight to be able to bring George Victor du Noyer, a pupil of Petrie’s, from the Crawford to the National Museum in 2018, presenting many fascinating works that have never before been shown in a museum setting.”
 
PRESS CONTACTS:
 
Nigel Monaghan, Keeper, Natural History Division, National Museum of Ireland
01 648 6354 | 087 798 5570 | nmonaghan@museum.ie
 
Ann Daly, Head of Marketing, Marketing Department, National Museum of Ireland
01 648 6457 | 087 236 8067 | adaly@museum.ie
 
David Mullane, Marketing Executive, Marketing Department, National Museum of Ireland
01 881 6519 | 087 411 0798 | dmullane@museum.ie
 
NOTES TO EDITORS:
 
Photocall
A photocall will take place before the launch at 10.30am on Tuesday 5 June 2018 in the exhibition gallery on the ground floor of the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, Dublin. For more information or if you would like to attend this photocall, please contact David Mullane, Marketing Executive, Marketing Department, National Museum of Ireland | 01 881 6519 | 087 411 0798 | dmullane@museum.ie.
 
Images
Images of the photocall and launch will be available from: Paul Sherwood | Photographer | paul@sherwood.ie | 087 2309096.
For images of exhibition artworks, please contact: David Mullane, Marketing Executive, Marketing Department, National Museum of Ireland | 01 881 6519 | 087 411 0798 | dmullane@museum.ie.
 
Book
An accompanying book, Stones, Slabs and Seascapes: George Victor du Noyer’s Images of Ireland, has been published by the Crawford Art Gallery to coincide with the exhibition and is available for sale in the National Museum’s gift shop.
 
Exhibition information for visitors
Stones, Slabs and Seascapes: George Victor du Noyer’s Images of Ireland will run from Wednesday 6 June until Sunday 30 September 2018 on the ground floor of the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, Dublin.
 
Website
A webpage for the exhibition can be found on the National Museum’s website here: https://www.museum.ie/Decorative-Arts-History/Exhibitions/Future-Exhibitions/Stones,-Slabs-and-Seascapes-George-Victor-du-Noyer
 
National Museum of Ireland
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Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm; Sunday 2pm – 5pm.
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George Victor du Noyer
Born into an Irish Huguenot family, George Victor du Noyer (1811-1869) combined the skill of an artist with a knowledge and appreciation of scientific discovery. He is remembered today as a pioneering geologist, but was also interested in archaeology, recording many ancient sites, including megalithic tombs and churches. Although photography was invented during his lifetime, Du Noyer preferred to use pencil, brush and watercolour, capturing and recording a wide range of material throughout Ireland.

Taught drawing by George Petrie, and working from the age of seventeen, he sketched plants and animals, people, townscapes, antiquities, fossils and rock formations. Over the course of his life (he died of fever while working in Antrim in 1869) Du Noyer was employed as an artist in the Ordnance Survey, an art teacher at the College of St Columba, and a surveyor for the Geological Survey of Ireland. He was a prolific artist, producing over five thousand drawings, watercolours and sketches, most of them done ‘en plein air’ as he travelled through countryside and villages.

His detailed sketches of the Irish landscape, particularly coastal areas in Wicklow, Wexford, Waterford, Cork and Kerry, provide an insight into aspects of life in Ireland in the mid-nineteenth century that would otherwise be forgotten. His paintings of the Antrim coastline record geological formations over two hundred million years old. The artefacts and landscapes he painted and sketched contain an enduring record, or memory, of geological events and human history. Du Noyer’s art therefore has a philosophical dimension, and is itself a meditation on the art of memory.

Image credit: East Gable and Window Ancient Stone Oratory near Kilmalkedar Church, Co. Kerry by permission of the Royal Irish Academy © RIA