Lord Mayor of Dublin and Tánaiste Launch New National Museum of Ireland/Hugh Lane Gallery Exhibition Marking Centenary of the Signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty
‘Studio & State: The Laverys and the Anglo-Irish Treaty’ is a co-curated exhibition between the Hugh Lane Gallery and the National Museum of Ireland
Exhibition combines Lavery portraits with artefacts including the pen Michael Collins used to sign Anglo-Irish Treaty
For Immediate release: 23rd November 2021: Lord Mayor of Dublin, Alison Gilliland, and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar today launched Studio & State: The Laverys and the Anglo-Irish Treaty. Co-curated between the Hugh Lane Gallery and the National Museum of Ireland, this unique collaboration enables the institutions’ respective collections to be brought together to tell the story of the Treaty negotiations through paintings and artefacts.
The exhibition explores the events between July 1921, when the Truce was agreed in Dublin, and January 1922, when the Anglo-Irish Treaty was narrowly ratified in Dáil Éireann.
For the first time, paintings by Sir John Lavery from the Hugh Lane Gallery are displayed next to artefacts from the National Museum of Ireland’s collection to the tell this complex story and examine how the Laverys negotiated the intricate relationships between art, politics, and history.
Notable artefacts include the fountain pen reputedly used by Michael Collins to sign the original Treaty document, a copy of the Treaty document autographed by seven of the twelve signatories, and pro- and anti-Treaty propaganda works.
Studio & State examines The Treaty signatories both British and Irish delegates, who sat to Lavery in his studio 5 Cromwell Place during the negotiations in the autumn of 1921. In doing so John Lavery cast himself in the role of artist-diplomat and saw his studio as a neutral ground for both parties. Combining this with the Museum’s historical documents and photographs Studio & State highlights the complexities of this time as well as the diversity of the personalities involved in the negotiations.
Lord Mayor of Dublin Alison Gilliland said, “It brings me great pride to be here today along with An Tánaiste to open this exhibition, another amazing addition to the various commemorations that form the Decade of Centenaries. By telling the story of the Treaty Negotiations through innovative and unique exhibitions such as these, we can continue to reflect on the complexity of our history and promote collaboration and co-operation for generations to come. I want to congratulate both the National Museum of Ireland and the Hugh Lane Gallery for such a successful collaboration.”
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said, “It is a privilege to open this exhibition today alongside the Lord Mayor. The Decade of Centenaries Programme has created opportunities for people of all traditions to reflect upon the complexities of the events of this period and the various related themes and our National Cultural Institutions have a significant role in achieving this. I hope that the exhibition will demonstrate the important legacy of the Treaty and reflect this pivotal moment of Ireland's history in a compelling and connected way.”
Lynn Scarff, Director of the National Museum of Ireland, said “It’s been wonderful to be able to work with the Hugh Lane Gallery on such a monumental exhibition The Decade of Centenaries has presented important opportunities to look at our history through new perspectives and multiple different disciplines. It is vital that we still take the time to reflect on the events and the lived experiences of those involved in these politically historical milestones. The story of these objects and portraits are one of not only political negotiation, but of a shared humanity and collaboration. Through this spirit of collaboration, I hope this exhibition will make our history meaningful for everyone, in a way that supports discussion about these transformative events.”
Barbara Dawson, Director of the Hugh Lane Gallery, said “Hugh Lane Gallery is delighted to work with the National Museum on this unique exhibition. It brings together two national collections which tell the story of these momentous events which shaped the birth of Modern Ireland.
“As well as presenting a unique perspective on this period of political negotiation, Lavery’s perceptive portraits of these British and Irish men and the artefacts relating to them emphasise both the humanity of the individuals involved and the significance of events that unfolded. One hundred years on this exhibition presents us with a new viewpoint from which to reflect on these times and move forward in a spirit of collaboration and understanding of a shared history.”
A bespoke exhibition catalogue with essays from historians, art historians and artists further explores the historical events of this time and the role of the Laverys in the Treaty negotiations. It will be available for sale at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks and on the online shop.
The exhibition will be available to view until December 2022. Admission is free.
NOTES TO EDITOR
- Images from the exhibition are available here
- Photography will be issued from today’s launch by Julien Behal Photography 087 978 2542 firstname.lastname@example.org
Requests for further information/ interviews: Q4 Public Relations
About the National Museum of Ireland
The National Museum of Ireland is the nation’s premier cultural institution and home to the greatest collections of Irish heritage, culture and history. Admission is free.
The National Museum of Ireland has 4 public sites, and a Collections Repository:
- National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology (Kildare Street, Dublin)
- National Museum of Ireland – Natural History (Merrion Street, Dublin)
- National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History (Collins Barracks, Dublin)
- National Museum of Ireland – Country Life (Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo)
- Collections Resource Centre (Swords) (Not open to the public)
About the Hugh Lane Gallery
Hugh Lane Gallery in Parnell Square houses one of the leading museums of Irish and International art in Ireland. It is Dublin’s city art gallery and was established by Sir Hugh Lane in 1908. The gallery’s renowned collection begins with 19th century European art, with an emphasis on French landscape painting and French Impressionist paintings, through to contemporary art practice.
It also has an extensive Irish art collection and continues to support contemporary art in Ireland and internationally. Francis Bacon’s studio and collection is on permanent display and Sean Scully, the Dublin born international contemporary artist, is celebrated with a room specially dedicated to his art. The gallery programmes both historical and contemporary exhibitions and organises dynamic engagement programmes across the city’s diverse communities as well as art education projects in the gallery.