Transcontinental Threads

Adam MacKlin and Billy Shortall.

Lily (1866-1949) and Elizabeth Yeats (1868-1940), pictured above, originally moved to Dublin from London to join Evelyn Gleeson (1855-1944) in her newly established arts and crafts enterprise, Dun Emer Industries in 1902, where the printing of high-quality books and prints was overseen by Elizabeth and embroidery by Lily. The enterprise was named after the Irish mythological figure, Emer, who was renowned for her artistic and needlework skills, and Cúchulainn’s wife. However, after an acrimonious split with Gleeson, the sisters established Cuala Industries in 1908 taking their own areas of production with them. The ideology of both organisations was espoused in the original Dun Emer prospectus, which stated its desire to “make beautiful things” using honest and native materials in “the spirit and tradition of the country”. Both were female enterprises and almost exclusively employed and trained young women as assistants in arts and crafts

The Press, the dominant part of Cuala’s business, published handcrafted books by leading members of the Irish literary revival including Nobel prize-winning sibling William (1865- 1939), and prints designed by Irish artists, chief among them another sibling Jack Yeats (1871-1957). Lily’s embroidery department was also notable, but its output was smaller and its legacy harder to track as many of the domestic embroidered items, such as, clothing, tablecloths and bedspreads are no longer extant. Framed embroidered art works such as those in the National Gallery of Ireland and in private collections indicate the artistry and technical quality of the embroidered work of Lily and her assistants. Before moving to Dublin, Lily had established herself as a skilled artistic embroiderer working for six years in the late 1800s with May Morris, daughter of William Morris, in their world-renowned Arts and Crafts scheme.

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Ephemeral Architecture Eternalised in Print:

The Documentation of the Funeral Procession for Archduke Albert VII of Austria, 1622

Dr Maria Elisa Navarro Morales is a professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture. She and her students have been looking this year at the architecture titles in the Fagel Collection, although for obvious reasons they have not been able to see them in person. The students submitted blogposts, three of which will be published here. Although they included bibliographies and footnotes in their essays, for brevity we have omitted them. This post is by Zoe Cooke.

The Pompa Funebris Alberti is a book that commemorates the funeral of Archduke Albert VII of Austria which took place in Brussels on March 12, 1622. A copy of the illustrated volume resides in the expansive Fagel collection at the library of Trinity College Dublin and it includes fifty-four plates detailing all the figures who took part in the funeral procession and the purpose-built, monumental, ephemeral architecture that was designed for it by artist and court architect, Jacob Franquart. The volume provides invaluable insight into the function of ephemeral architecture in the orchestration of courtly ceremonies in the early modern period in Europe.

Fig.1. Fag.I.1.60: Jacob Franquart. Pompa funebris optimi potentissimiq[ue] principis Alberti Pii, Archiducis Austriae, ducis Burg. Bra. &c., Brussels, 1623. Title page
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The Fagel French Garden Connection

Dr Maria Elisa Navarro Morales is a professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture. She and her students have this year been looking at the architecture titles in the Fagel Collection, although for obvious reasons they have not been able to see them in person. The students submitted blogposts, three of which will be published here. Although they included bibliographies and footnotes in their essays, for brevity we have omitted them. This post, by Niamh Flood, refers to the Fagel House, which is discussed on the first Fagel video.

There is an inconspicuous volume in the Fagel Library, unremarkable in appearance and at less than twenty pages, so slight as to be almost overlooked in this vast collection: Hardouin-Mansart, Jules, and Michel Hardouin (engraver), Book of all the Profiles and Elevations Plans both in Perspective and Geometric of Chateau de Clagny. Paris: Cossin, 1680. Shelfmark Fag. I.1.72.

Plate 1: Fagel I.1.72 Hardouin-Mansart, Jules, and Michel Hardouin (engraver), Book Of All The Profiles And Elevations Plans Both In Perspective And Geometric Of Chasteau De Clagny. Paris: Cossin, 1680
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Gratitude to the ladies

Andrew Lang was born in Selkirk, Scotland, on 31st March 1844. He studied at the Universities of St. Andrews and Glasgow, and Balliol College, Oxford. He was elected to an Open Fellowship at Merton College, moving there in 1869. Lang was prolific in a number of disciplines, such as pre-history, the relationship between myth and religion, and Scottish history, and was particularly prominent in the field of folklore, being a founding member, in 1878, of the Folklore Society, and its president during the International Folk-Lore Congress in London in 1891. He died on 20 July 1912. It is perhaps paradoxical, given the prevailing view at that time that children’s books were not real literature, that he is probably best remembered for his children’s books, particularly the ‘coloured’ series of fairy books. More ironic still, it was his wife who did the majority of the work on these.

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Much ado about MOOCs

Massive Open Online Courses are a 21st-century phenomenon and have become a popular means of learning, especially in the current worldwide lockdown situation. They are ‘massive’ and ‘open’ because there are no limits to the number of participants and no qualification requirements. With the development of technology, they are a natural progression from correspondence courses. Continue reading “Much ado about MOOCs”