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The University’s McMullen Museum of Art opened its fall season September 4 with the exhibition Literary Lives: Portraits from the Crawford Art Gallery and Abbey Theatre, Ireland, a selection of more than 50 paintings, photographs, and busts of Irish writers by Irish artists. The works, which span three centuries, range from Francis Bindon’s 1735 portrait in oil of an elderly Jonathan Swift to Michael O’Dea’s vivid 2003 painting of poet Micheal O’ Siadhail in a scarlet vest. Manuscripts, letters, presentation copies of books, and memorabilia from Boston College’s Burns Library (including a Lilliputian copy of Gulliver’s Travels the size of a lapel pin) supplement the artworks. The show is arranged chronologically, allowing one to trace the threads that bind the authors of the 20th century to those of the 18th. The McMullen organized the show with the Crawford Art Gallery—the city gallery of Cork, Ireland—in collaboration with Boston College’s Irish Studies Program. The curators include professors Marjorie Howes (English) and Robert Savage (history).

On August 18, preparator Maya Urbanowicz (in red) and McMullen exhibitions designer Diana Larsen (also a curator of the show), installed text next to a 1977 oil portrait of poet Anthony Cronin (author of the memoir Dead as Doornails), painted by Edward McGuire.

This feature was posted on Wednesday, September 8, 2010 and is filed under Featured Photo.

Photograph by Gary Wayne Gilbert