New Exhibition: “On Speaking Terms: Eight centuries of communication disabilities”

Text by Dr Caroline Jagoe & Dr Deborah Thorpe

Florence Fenwick Miller, An atlas of anatomy, London, 1879. Gall.TT.32.9

Communication is at the heart of who we are as human beings and communication disorders reflect the diversity of our humanity. As the Department of Clinical Speech and Language Studies in Trinity College Dublin celebrates 50 years of educating speech and language therapists in Ireland, this exhibition in the Long Room provides a glimpse into eight centuries of communication disabilities. Continue reading

‘Writing Art in Ireland’ — online exhibition launched

Following on from our blog post on 29th September about the new ‘Writing Art in Ireland’ exhibition which is on display in the Long Room of the Old Library, we are delighted to announce that the online version of this exhibition is now available to be viewed here.

AE: 'Jack B. Yeats', in "The Book-Lover's Magazine" v.8 (1908). Shelfmark: 65.a.71

AE: ‘Jack B. Yeats’, in “The Book-Lover’s Magazine” v.8 (1908). Shelfmark: 65.a.71

Cecil Salkeld: 'The principles of painting', in "To-morrow", August 1924. Shelfmark: 202.u.1 no.1A

Cecil Salkeld: ‘The principles of painting’, in “To-morrow”, August 1924. Shelfmark: 202.u.1 no.1A

‘Writing Art in Ireland’ — a new exhibition opens in the Long Room

A new exhibition has opened in the Old Library, Trinity College Dublin. ‘Writing Art in Ireland, c.1890–1930’ explores the ways in which the visual arts were written about during a period that saw a surge in cultural activity take place against a backdrop of tumultuous constitutional change. From Margaret Stokes’s emphasis on the aesthetic value of medieval Irish artefacts in Early Christian art in Ireland (1887) through to Mainie Jellett’s defence of abstract painting in the magazine Motley in 1932, the exhibition also serves as a celebration of the wealth of material relating to the visual arts held in the Library.

Page from Margaret Stokes, Early Christian art in Ireland (1887) containing reproduction of initial from the Book of Kells.

Page from Margaret Stokes, “Early Christian art in Ireland” (1887) containing reproduction of an initial from the Book of Kells.

The texts and images displayed highlight how commentators looked to the achievements of the past as well as to continental innovations in debating how best to forge a distinctly modern national artistic identity. Also outlined are the links between the visual arts and the emerging Irish state, as vigorous discussion took place around the role art should play in the economy, in educational institutions, and in the Church.

The exhibition was prepared by Dr Tom Walker, with assistance from Jack Quin, from the School of English, TCD, as part of the Irish Research Council New Horizons research project ‘W.B. Yeats and The Writing of Art’. It will be on view in the Long Room until January 2017.

 

An online version of the exhibition launched on 7 October.

A symposium related to the exhibition and wider research project will be taking place at the Trinity Long Room Hub on Saturday 8 October.

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Tennis: “The Game of Kings”

charlesNow that this year’s tennis tournament at Wimbledon is well under way, we would like to draw attention to a recent purchase in the Library, a 17th-century book about King Charles I of England and his family. Entitled The true effigies of our most illustrious soveraigne Lord, King Charles Queene Mary, with the rest of the royall progenie, the small volume consists of eight etched portraits of Charles and his wife Henrietta Maria, along with portraits of their six children who had been born by the end of 1640, the last child Henrietta being born in 1644, after this work was printed. Each portrait is accompanied by an anonymous poem describing the subject of the facing image. Continue reading

Celebrating Cervantes, 1616-2016

April 2016 marks the 400th anniversary of the death of both William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes, both of whom are the best-known writers in their respective countries of birth. They died, in fact, on consecutive days: Cervantes on the 22nd April, Shakespeare on the 23rd. The former was probably 68 years old, the latter younger at 52. The Library holds many editions of their works, both in their native languages and in translation, dating from the 16th century to the present day. Three editions of “Don Quixote” have been chosen to go on display at the entrance to the Berkeley Library, in celebration of the quatercentenary of the Spanish writer’s death and the enduring popularity of his great novel.

Cervantes: "Don Quixote" (London, 1756), ill. J. Vanderbank. Shelfmark: S.e.33

Shelfmark: S.e.33

Continue reading

“Mad as a March Hare”

Rabbits are often associated with the months of March and April, due to role the ‘Easter Bunny’ plays in delivering chocolate to children at Easter. However, the animal which most resembles the rabbit – the hare – also comes to mind in March, thanks to the English expression “as mad as a March hare”. This phrase was popularised in the late 19th century by Lewis Carroll’s inclusion of the character, the March Hare, in Alice’s adventures in Wonderland, but it was in existence long before that, having been used by poets such as John Skelton in the sixteenth century.

Lewis Carroll: “Alice’s adventures in Wonderland”. Illustrated by John Tenniel (London, 1866) Shelfmark: Press K.3.7

Lewis Carroll: “Alice’s adventures in Wonderland”. Illustrated by John Tenniel (London, 1866) Shelfmark: Press K.3.7

The origin of the idiom is straightforward: the hare’s breeding season is around the month of March, when its behaviour becomes unusually excited and energetic, causing the hare to jump into the air and dart around for no apparent reason. Lewis Carroll’s protagonist comments, before her first meeting with the March Hare, “perhaps as this is May it won’t be raving mad – at least not so mad as it was in March.” (Chap. 6)

 

 

Now on display in the foyer of the Berkeley Library are three very different images of hares, from the 17th and 20th centuries.

John Jonston: “Historiae naturalis de quadrupedibus” Frankfurt, [1650] Shelfmark: Fag.M.4.51

John Jonston: “Historiae naturalis de quadrupedibus”
Frankfurt, [1650] Shelfmark: Fag.M.4.51

These include Matthaeus Merian’s engraving for John Jonston’s “Historia animalis de quadrupedibus”, showing a common hare as well as a species of a hare with horns which by the end of the 18th century had been proved not in fact to exist.

Jonston’s work was published thirty years after another important book about animals, by Conrad Gesner, whose illustration of a hare is also shown here.

Conrad Gesner: “Historiae animalium liber primus de quadrupedibus viviparis”. 2nd ed. (Frankfurt, 1620) Shelfmark: OO.bb.14

Conrad Gesner: “Historiae animalium liber primus de quadrupedibus viviparis”. 2nd ed. (Frankfurt, 1620) Shelfmark: OO.bb.14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other pictures of hares which can be viewed in the case at the entrance to the Berkeley Library are one of Agnes Miller Parker’s illustrations for H.E. Bates book “Through the woods” (London, 1936) and Rene Cloke’s colourful depiction of the Mad Hatter’s tea party in the picture-book version of “Alice in Wonderland” published by Dean in 1969.