SS118 Introduction to Art in Ireland

This course traces the development of Irish art from Newgrange to the 2009 Venice Biennale. Students will be introduced to a wide variety of prehistoric art before moving on to consider the outstanding artistic achievements of the ‘Golden Age’ of Irish art, including the Book of Kells, the Tara Brooch and Irish High Crosses.  The second half of the course will focus on how the ‘rediscovery’ of this early artistic legacy informed later artists, culminating in the ‘Celtic Revival’ of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In exploring the development of modern art in Ireland, students will learn to appraise and evaluate a broad spectrum of Irish art both iconographically and art historically, including the work of Jack Yeats, Mainie Jellett, and Louis le Brocquy. The course will conclude with an overview of trends in contemporary Irish art. A key question underlying the various strands of the course will be the development of a distinctly Irish cultural identity in the visual arts and the influence of international trends on Irish artists throughout the ages.



Co-Director, Louis de Paor, Ph.D

Louis de Paor was educated at University College Cork. He has published articles on a broad range of writing in Irish from the court poetry of medieval Ireland to the work of contemporary poets such as Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Michael Davitt. His books include a study of narrative technique in the short fiction of Máirtín Ó Cadhain and an anthology of twentieth century poetry in Irish co-edited with Seán Ó Tuama. He is currently working on a study of the writings of Flann O’Brien. He is Director of the Centre for Irish Studies at National University of Ireland, Galway


Co-Director, Conor Newman, M.A., F.S.A

Conor Newman lectures in archaeology at the National University of Ireland, Galway. His research is in the areas of early medieval art history and iconography, and royal and cult landscapes. He directed the Discovery Programme’s Tara Archaeological Survey Project and his research at Tara is on-going. He was visiting professor of Celtic Archaeology at the University of Toronto, and editor of the Journal of Irish Archaeology from 2003-2008. He is co-director of the Columbanus Life and Legacy Project (Moore Institute, NUI Galway),is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and Chairman of the Heritage Council.



Fiona Gavin, B.A.

Fiona Gavin was educated at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Her field of post-graduate research and publication focuses specifically on insular ornamental metalwork AD 300-500. Her research topics include iconography and symbolism in early Insular art, the creation and socio-cultural performance of prehistoric art and the early use of silver in native metalwork.




Jenny McCarthy, M.A.

Jenny Mc Carthy is a graduate of UCD, where she studied art history and philosophy. She holds an M.A in Irish Studies and is currently completing her doctoral thesis Jack B Yeats and John Sloan: Ireland and America at the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway Her research interests include nineteenth- and twentieth century Irish art, the illustrations of Jack Yeats, images of the Irish in travel literature and crosscurrents in early twentieth-century Irish and American art.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and Fees:
€2,010 (Euro)

€1,160 (Family Guesthouse - sharing)
- with Irish breakfast 
- €150 single supplement

€850 (Student Residences)
- without breakfast
- single occupancy

Further Information

For further information applicants should contact:

Programme Administrator
Summer School Office
NUI Galway
Tel: +353 91 495442                                                                                                                             
Fax: +353 91 525051