The Triarc reading room holds a collection of over 2,000 books, catalogues and other texts of relevance to Irish art history. The majority comprises a generous donation from Professor Emeritus Anne Crookshank, and this is supplemented by recent acquisitions from various donors. Prof Peter Harbison has generously donated a collection of almost 300 off-prints and articles relating to early medieval art and this is now available for consultation in the TRIARC reading room. Other research material has been provided by Prof Fintan Cullen, University of Nottingham.
The Irish Art Research Centre (TRIARC) archive comprises images and textual material relating to the art, architecture and sculpture of Ireland. At present the archive is made up of three distinct collections focusing on painting and sculpture c.1600-1940 (the Crookshank-Glin collection) and Early Christian and Medieval architecture and sculpture (the Stalley and Rae collections). In addition to its significance for the history of Irish art, the material in the archive is a valuable resource for other historical and cultural disciplines. For example, the reproductions of landscape paintings are of interest to local historians, architectural historians, historical geographers, and others, while the portraits and genre scenes are an equally significant point of reference for researchers in social history.
In recognition of the archive’s importance, the generous support of a number of benefactors, including the Getty Institute and the Heritage Council, has enabled work to start on the conservation, cataloguing and digitisation of images as part of the Library’s TARA (Trinity’s Access to Research) programme, which provides an expanding web-based resource to both the college community and wider public.
The founder of the Department of the History of Art and Architecture, Professor Emeritus Anne Crookshank, has been a major figure in the establishment of Irish art history. Together with Dr Desmond Fitzgerald, the 29th Knight of Glin, she has collected together reproduction images of tens of thousands of paintings by more than a thousand Irish artists dating primarily from the seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. These photographic images have been stored in files, alphabetically by artist’s name, and collectively have been instrumental in helping to piece together a framework of the fragmented history of Irish visual imagery. These images have provided the basis for seminal texts by Prof Crookshank and the Knight, including Ireland’s Painters, 1600-1940 (2002) and The Watercolours of Ireland (1994). The files of images are available for consultation by researchers visiting TRIARC, and a significant proportion of the images have been scanned and catalogued for consultation online on the Trinity Access to Research Area image database.
Artists featured in the collection (.xls, 139kb).
TRIARC gratefully acknowledges grant aid from the Getty Foundation towards the cataloguing and conservation of the collection.
The Stalley Collection
The Stalley collection comprises approximately 20,000 black and white prints of Medieval architecture and sculpture. The collection was built up over a period of years by Professor Emeritus Roger Stalley, Chair of the Department of History of Art and Architecture until 2010, and initiator of the Irish Art Research Centre.
The collection focuses principally on Irish medieval architecture and sculpture covering a period between roughly 700AD and 1600AD. This includes extensive coverage of high crosses, early Christian church buildings, Romanesque and Gothic ecclesiastical sculpture and architecture and Medieval castles. The Irish material is complimented by a smaller collection of related architecture in Britain and the Continent. The images in the collection are currently being digitised and will be made available online via the Trinity Access to Research Area (TARA).
Edwin Rae Collection
Prof. Edwin C. Rae was Professor of the History of Art at the University of Illinois, Champagne-Urbana. During World War II he was Fine Arts Chief for the military government in Bavaria and responsible for returning thousands of art objects looted from conquered countries by the Nazis. The subject of his Harvard PhD dissertation was the Architecture of Medieval Ireland and in the later years of his career he published a number of important articles on the subject, all illustrated with photographs from this collection. In 2001 Prof. Rae donated his photographs to the History of Art Department at TCD. Since 2003 they have been administered by the Irish Art Research Centre (TRIARC) as part of their larger archive of Irish art.
The collection of roughly 3,000 photographs, which date to c.1930-1970 are focused principally on Irish later Medieval (c.1250-1600AD) tomb sculpture, wayside crosses, architecture and architectural detailing. Monuments from throughout the country, both north and south, are represented, and there is a small collection of comparative material from England and France. Holdings are particularly significant for counties Kilkenny and Dublin, areas that formed the focus of a number of Rae’s publications. The collection includes material in state-, church- and privately-owned monuments as well as some museum material.
Much of the collection has been catalogued, digitised and made available online line via the Trinity Access to Research Area (TARA) project. Catalogued images can be viewed here. TRIARC gratefully acknowledges grant aid from the Heritage Council towards the conservation of the original black and white prints.
Other visual material:
IRCHSS Reconstruction of the Gothic Past: Irish Medieval moulding
Profiles: Researcher Dr Danielle O'Donovan's collection of architectural details from numerous Irish medieval buildings.
Location: The archive is located in a dedicated facility in the Provost’s House Stables, restored by award-winning architects O’Donnell+Tuomey.
Access: The archive reading room is open to researchers by appointment. Contact Ruth Sheehy.