For fifty years, architectural historian Maurice Craig carried a camera nearly everywhere he went. Meticulously catalogued, the resulting collection of over two thousand photographs was donated to the Irish Architectural Archive (IAA) in 2001. During his final year, Craig selected seventy-odd of his favourites, adding comments in his wry, incisive style.
Many photographs here originally featured in the IAA 2006 exhibition 'Maurice Craig: Fifty Years of Photographing Ireland'; others appeared as small prints in Ireland Observed (1980), co-authored with the Knight of Glin. Here, they are grouped into four categories: buildings that no longer exist; tableaux of a byone age; curiosities, such as arresting stone carvings and plaster work, or humourous juxtapositions; and buildings of enduring architectural interest.
With an introduction by the photographer and an afterword by Rolf Loeber, this book is part memento mori, part historical document – a tribute not only to Ireland's buildings and architecture, but also to one of their greatest champions.
MAURICE CRAIG (1919-2011) was born in Belfast and educated in Dalkey and Shrewsbury, and at Magdalene College, cambridge, and Trinity College, Dublin, where he gained a doctorate in Landor studies (suggested to him by Patrick Kavanagh).
AMANDA BELL is a freelance editor living in Dublin.