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Trinity's 'College Gallery': The Swing of the Sixties

Lismore Castle Arts, Lismore Castle, Co. Waterford, Ireland

For further information on the exhibition and the gallery:

Lismore Castle Arts - gallery website

What the papers say -

Sunday Times, Culture Magazine, Exhibition Review by Cristín Leach Hughes, 19 April 2015

Irish Independent, Entertainment - Theatre and Arts section, Exhibition Review, 19 April 2015

Irish Times, The Ticket, Listing, Aidan Dunne, 17 April 2015

Lismore Castle Arts celebrates its 10th anniversary of visual arts programming this year. The organisation has been fortunate in being able to present art from many of the world’s leading artists, to work with an amazing array of curators and collaborated with institutions across the world.

In planning the programme for 2015, Lismore felt it important to reflect other histories in the development of contemporary art in Ireland, so they asked Richard Wood, a long-time supporter of Lismore Castle Arts and alumnus of Trinity College to curate an exhibition which looks back to a different genesis – that of the University Art Collection at Trinity College Dublin.


Richard was a student at Trinity during the late 1960s and was one of the volunteers on the Student Committee of what was known on campus as 'The College Gallery' Picture Hire Scheme, set up by George Dawson in 1959-60 with the help of 4 students. This exhibition introduces the sense of wonder and excitement experienced by these students in the Sixties. Together with George and other key staff members like Professor Anne Crookshank and Adrian Phillips, they travelled the length and breadth of Ireland and often further afield, feasting on ‘the swing’ taking place in the visual arts. Urban and abstract subjects began to dominate, resulting in bold styles and techniques such as hard-edge minimalism and silkscreen printing, plus Op, Pop and Kinetic art, reflecting wider, pervasive social changes. Student imaginations were captured and the College’s Modern Art collection was firmly established.


The exhibition features key Irish and international pieces by Josef Albers, Karel Appel, Patrick Collins, Barrie Cooke, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Micheal Farrell, Robert Indiana, Cecil King, Roy Lichtenstein, Nano Reid, Patrick Scott, William Scott, Peter Sedgley, and Victor Vasarely, accompanied by a portrait of George Dawson by Mick O’Dea and a student response by Barra Boydell from 1968.

The exhibition was launched formally at Lismore Castle Art Gallery 
on Friday 10th April, by the Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Dr. Patrick Prendergast

View the exhibition opening invitation here (pdf, 236kb)

Exhibition talk:
A special exhibition talk was held on
Saturday 11th April at 2pm by Richard Wood, alumnus of Trinity College and former student committee member of the 'College Gallery' picture hire scheme in the late 1960s, who selected the works for the exhibition. 

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Last updated 22 September 2017 catherine.giltrap@tcd.ie (Email).