THE ART collection formerly belonging to AIB and now handed over to the State has gone on display in the Hunt Museum in Limerick this week.
The collection’s permanent home is in the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork, which was at the request of the Minister for the Arts last year, but for the next two months its home will be in Limerick, where it will be on display until August 11.
The exhibition features 38 works by many of Ireland’s finest painters, including numerous pieces by Jack B Yeats, Sean Keating, John Lavery, William Orpen and Roderic O’Connor.
There are three paintings by Jack B. Yeats, in this exhibition, including his masterpiece The Race on Hy Brazil from 1937, Now or Never from 1929, and a third of women Shelling Peas on Moore Street in 1936.
Traditional landscape paintings from the turn of the century to contemporary abstract works in recent decades are the basis of the eclectic exhibition.
Jimmy Deenihan, TD, Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, launched what he described as a “stunning exhibition of highly important works” in Limerick this Monday night, saying it demonstrates the positive link between the Hunt Museum and the Crawford Art Gallery Cork. “Corporate sponsorship of the arts, and of individual artists, is vital. Over many years this sponsorship built an important collection that will now be enjoyed by generations to come,” said Minister Deenihan.
The collection, which was presented to the State early last year, includes work by Paul Henry, William Scott, William Leech, Aloysious O’Kelly, Michael Farrell and Mary Swanzy.
Dr Hugh Maguire, director of the Hunt, said the exhibition highlights the museum’s role in considering specific collections and collectors in keeping with the vision of the original museum benefactors.
Fans of the Limerick born artist Sean Keating can see several of his works on display, including the epic On the Run painting, from the War of Independence in 1921.
The first biography of Keating was launched in Limerick City of Gallery of Art last week by Dr Eimear O’Connor of Trinity College Dublin. It features over 200 colour paintings, many previously unpublished. It is published by Irish Academia Press.