Irish Female Artists of the 20th Century

18 Jun 2014
'Three Achill Children' Hilda Roberts 1901-1982

This very special exhibition opens in the Jennings Gallery, College of Medicine and Health, Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, UCC on Wednesday 18th June and remains open until 8th September. The exhibition features artworks loaned from a number of private collections and features what are considered the best Irish female artists of the 20th century.

These women lived through a time of great change – the War of Independence, the Civil War, the emergence of the Irish Free State, and two world wars.  This was also a time when women’s role in society changed and women joined the work-force.  The country was also beginning to recognize the importance of art and culture. These women artists were strong, pioneering women who encouraged and supported each other.  They had similar privileged social and educational backgrounds and many were friends.  They were successful writers, musicians, teachers, political activists, suffragettes, revolutionaries, publishers, poets and patriots. All were devoted to their art.

These women lived at a time when art was dominated by men. Indeed, the Royal Hibernian Academy excluded females from full membership until 1925.

Although under similar artistic influences, these women had very individual artistic styles. They escaped the artistic and social restrictions of Ireland and travelled to Europe, in particular Paris, to study art, in contrast to their male colleagues who remained in Ireland and whose art tended to be more formal and conservative.

This exhibition is based on the book ‘Journeys through Line and Colour.

Forty Irish Women Artists of the 20th Century’ by Professor Paul Finucane and  Dr Maria Connolly.

‘ This is more than a collection of paintings. It is a celebration of the talents, the uniqueness, the individuality of these strong pioneering women of the last century. These women are part of our history and our heritage and have given us a valuable artistic legacy.’

Director of the Jennings Gallery, Dr Bridget Maher


The Jennings Gallery is open to the public Monday-Friday 9-5pm.

College of Medicine and Health

Coláiste an Leighis agus na Sláinte

3rd Floor, Erinville Hospital Western Road University College Cork Cork , T12 EKDO