February 2–May 19, 2003

E-book | Catalogue

From its earliest history, Ireland has been contested land, claimed by waves of invaders, each attempting to inscribe and possess the island territory. Cultural artifacts that reveal this contested past are, therefore, central to any historical exploration of Ireland. From February 2 to May 19, 2003, the McMullen Museum at Boston College presents the first major art exhibition to examine this theme over the past seven centuries.

Éire/Land is comprised of nearly 100 outstanding works of art from the medieval to the modern period, including the finest works of their kind from Irish museums, the British Library, and private collections. The works selected exemplify the ways that the idea of land as an icon of the Irish nation has pervaded Irish visual culture. Through this exhibition, the McMullen Museum builds on its success as a leading proponent of Irish art, which until recently was largely excluded from the canon of art historical scholarship in North America.

This interdisciplinary project considers Irish visual culture in its fullest cultural and political settings. Drawing on original research by prominent international scholars and the largest and most distinguished Irish Studies faculty in the country, catalogue essays and developed wall texts relate objects to new scholarship in a variety of disciplines. Thus, visitors respond to visual representations of Ireland's land in a historically informed context.

Contributors to Éire/Land

Pamela Berger is Professor of Art History at Boston College and has produced and/or directed several historical feature films. Her publications include The Goddess Obscured: Transformation of the Grain Protectoress from Goddess to Saint (1985), "The Historical, the Sacred, the Romantic: Medieval Texts into Irish Watercolor," in Visualizing Ireland (1993); "Modern Propagators of Ancient Legends and Traditions: Mythic Memory or Serendipity?" in Re/Dressing Cathleen: Contemporary Works from Irish Women Artists (1997); "Sculpted Body Parts from Ancient Healing Sanctuaries" in The Plume and the Palette (2001).

Síghle Bhreathnach-Lynch is Curator of Irish Paintings at the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. Among her publications are Discover Irish Art co-authored with Marie Bourke (1999) and "Landscape, space and gender: their role in the construction of female identity in newly independent Ireland" in Gendering Landscape Art (2000). Her research interests cover all aspects of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Irish paintings and sculpture.

Michelle P. Brown is Curator at the British Library and Series Editor of the British Library Studies in Medieval Culture. Her published works include Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts (1991); The BL Guide to the History of Writing (1994); The Book of Cerne; Mercia, an Anglo-Saxon Kingdom in Europe (ed., 1996); The Transformation of the Roman World (ed., 1997); A Guide to Western Historical Scripts (1990, reprint 1999); Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts; The Historical Source Book for Scribes (1999). She is currently writing the commentary volume to accompany a new facsimile of the Lindisfarne Gospels.

Lisabeth Buchelt is a doctoral candidate in English at Boston College. She is a currently a Fulbright Fellow in Dublin. Her dissertation research examines medieval literature and culture of Ireland and England; her secondary specialization is in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Irish art.

Alston Conley is Chief Curator of the McMullen Museum and designer and installation manager of all the exhibitions there, as well as Adjunct Senior Lecturer at Boston College. He has published interviews with contemporary Irish artists in catalogues and in a special arts issue of ƒire-Ireland: an Interdisciplinary Journal of Irish Studies. He has curated several exhibitions and co-curated Re/Dressing Cathleen: Contemporary Works by Irish Women Artists and co-edited its catalogue (1997).

Claire Connolly is a lecturer in English Literature and Cultural Criticism at Cardiff University, and is a visiting Associate Professor at Boston College for 2002-2003. Her scholarly editions of Irish authors include Maria Edgeworth's Ormond (1999), Vivian (1999), and Manoeuvring (1999) as well as Sydney Owenson's The Wild Irish Girl (2000). She has also edited the collection Theorizing Ireland (2002) and is the author of essays on Edmund Burke, the Act of Union, Elizabeth Bowen, and postcolonialism and Ireland. She is currently working on a cultural history of Irish Romanticism.

L. Perry Curtis is professor emeritus of history at Brown University, specializing in nineteenth- century Irish history and modern culture and media. He is the author of Coercion and Conciliation in Ireland (1963), Anglo-Saxons and Celts (1968), the landmark and recently revised Apes and Angels: The Irishman in Victorian Caricature (1997), and Jack the Ripper and the London Press (2001). Images of Erin in the Age of Parnell (2000) that accompanied an exhibition of cartoons at the National Library of Ireland. He is currently researching Irish landlordism during the land war and the era of land purchase.

Kathleen Costello-Sullivan is a doctoral candidate in the English Department and Irish Studies Program at Boston College. She has published articles on Michel Foucault, Jonathan Swift, and Anglo-Irish women's literature, and has articles forthcoming on Maria Edgeworth and Rudyard Kipling. She is currently working on her dissertation, tentatively titled, "Communities of Isolation: Ireland, Modernity, and the Haunting of the English Imperial Imagination."

Robin Fleming has been Professor of history at Boston College and is currently a fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton University. She has published Kings and Lords in Conquest England (1991) and Domesday Book and the Law: Society and Legal Custom in Early Medieval England (1998) and a chapter in The Short Oxford History of the British Isles, vol. 3: Britain and Ireland in the Ninth through Eleventh Centuries. She has also edited early medieval texts and written on medieval forgery, liturgy, and economic history as well as nineteenth-century medievalism.

Marjorie Howes is Associate Professor of English and Irish Studies at Boston College. She is the author of Yeats's Nations: Gender, Class, and Irishness (1996), co-editor of Semicolonial Joyce (2000), and contributing editor to The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, volume 4 (2002). Her current research interests include the nineteenth-century Irish American Atlantic in popular culture and twentieth-century writing by Irish women.

Vera Kreilkamp is Professor of English at Pine Manor College, visiting scholar with the Irish Studies Program at Boston College, and co-editor ƒire-Ireland: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Irish Studies. With Professor Adele Dalsimer, she co-curated and co-editd the catalogue of America's Eye: Irish Painting from the Collection of Brian P. Burns (1996). She publishes on contemporary Irish artists and on Irish Ascendancy fiction, including The Anglo-Irish Novel and the Big House (1998). Her current research is on fiction and empire.

Robin Lydenberg is Professor of English at Boston College, currently teaching visual culture and literary theory. She has published articles on Dada and Surrealism, psychoanalysis, and twentieth-century fiction, and the book-length study, Word Cultures: Radical Theory and Practice in William S. Burroughs' Fiction (1987). In addition, she has co-edited Feminist Approaches to Theory and Methodology: An Interdisciplinary Reader (1999). More recently she has been working on contemporary Irish artist Dorothy Cross, publishing essays on the artist's work and completing a full-length monograph on Cross's site specific installations.

Katherine Nahum, Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Fine Arts Department, has taught the history of modern Irish art and worked on earlier exhibitions of contemporary Irish art at the McMulllen Museum. Her articles on Irish artists have appeared in museum catalogues and in a special arts issue of Eire-Ireland: an Interdisciplinary Journal of Irish Studies. Her other major research interests are modern architecture, psychoanalytic perspectives on art, and nineteenth-century European art.

Nancy Netzer is Professor of Art History at Boston College and Director of Boston College's McMullen Museum of Art. Her publications include articles on Irish medieval manuscripts, as the monograph, Cultural Interplay in the Eighth Century: The Trier Gospels and the Making of a Scriptorium at Echternach (1994). In addition, she has written "Picturing an Exhibition: James Mahony's Watercolors of the Irish Industrial Exhibition of 1853." for Visualizing Ireland: National Identity and the Pictorial Tradition (1993). She is currently completing a monograph on the Book of Durrow.

Kevin O'Neill is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Irish Studies Program at Boston College. His publications include "The Star Spangled Shamrock: Memory and Meaning in Irish America" in Meaning and Memory in Irish History (2001); "Looking at the Pictures: Art and Artfulness in Colonial Ireland," in Visualizing Ireland (1993); and Family and Farm in Pre-Famine Ireland: The Parish of Killashandra (1984). His research concentrates upon the interaction of traditional agricultural societies and a growing world economy with a special focus upon pre-famine Ireland.

Margaret Preston is an Assistant Professor at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD. Her publications include, "The Good Nurse: Women Philanthropists and the Evolution of Nursing in Nineteenth-Century Dublin," New Hibernian Review (Spring, 1998), and "Discourse and Hegemony: The Language of Charity in Nineteenth-Century Dublin," Ideology and Ireland in the Nineteenth Century (1998). Her academic interests focus upon modern Ireland, Britain, and India.

Robert J. Savage is an Irish historian and the Associate Director of the Boston College Irish Studies Program. He has published articles about contemporary Ireland and the representation of Ireland in the electronic media, as well as three books: Ireland in the New Century: Politics, Culture and Identity (1996); Sean Lemass: A Biography (1999); and Ireland: Politics, Culture and Identity (forthcoming 2003). His current research project explores how television in Ireland was shaped and influenced by a society experiencing significant economic, political and social change.


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