Studio: international art — 72.1918

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Irish Arts and Crafts


THE Arts and Crafts Society of Ireland
are holding this year their fifth
Exhibition of Irish Arts and Crafts.
The exhibition, which, having been
open in Dublin during July and August, has now
been transferred to Belfast, whence it will go
to Cork for view during November, brings to
notice again the good work that is being done
by this Society, together with another most
interesting collection of ex-
hibits by the Applied Art
Workers of Ireland. It has
been formed by means of
the Society’s wide organi-
zation, which is extended
throughout Ireland, the
Executive Committee in
Dublin being assisted by
Sub-Committees in the north
and in the south. These
Committees, together with
the officers of the Society,
all of whom are honorary,
are to be congratulated on
having secured a collection
of excellent work, represen-
tative of the whole of Ireland.

One cannot but be im-
pressed by the remarkable
development of the arts that
this exhibition reveals in a
land that is too apt to be
thought one of unrest alone.

Here we have, indeed, evi-
dence of a steady striving
towards peace and beauty,
serious and sincere, on the
part of a widely spread
number of the men and
women of Ireland.

The exhibition has points
of especial interest when
viewed generally, and in re-
lation to the Arts and Crafts
movement as one is familiar
with it in England, its native
home. In connexion with
the movement, Ireland has
been perhaps less fortunate
than England in many re-

spects, and when the conditions under which
the revival of handicraft has taken place in
England are compared with those that have
prevailed in Ireland, it may be realized how well
favoured England has been. The remarkable
personality of William Morris, his genius and
the force of his example and teaching, are too
well remembered to require enlarging upon here.
It is sufficient to note that together they con-
stituted a “ call,” one that raised, was destined
to raise, a wide response, and brought into co-
operation with him many whose names and
genius stand high—Burne-
Jones, Madox Brown, Walter
Crane, and how many others
might be added to the list ?
Nor can it be forgotten that
this movement arose in the
most favourable surround-
ings—in a world-centre of
genius and riches. It were
strange had not the revival
here attained a high level of

The strong influences which
inspired the revival in Eng-
land, however, never directly
reached across the Irish Sea.
Neither was Ireland favoured
with equivalent genius of her
own. Nevertheless, this has
not been altogether without
its compensations. Twenty-
three years ago, when the
power of William Morris was
at its height, and craftsman-
ship in Ireland at about its
lowest ebb, one Irishman
rose to the occasion. It was
then, in the year 1894, that
the Arts and Crafts Society
of Ireland was founded by
their present president, the
Earl of Mayo. The found-
ing of the Society was marked
by the rousing of great in-
terest in Ireland, and the
holding of the first of the
Society’s exhibitions, which
included a loan collection of
the best Arts and Crafts
work from England and else-
where, which acquainted the

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