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History of the Royal Hibernian Academy of Arts

By: John Turpin


‘The most outstanding contribution to the visual arts to be published in Ireland this year.’ — Paul Caffrey, THE IRISH ARTS REVIEW
‘The book will provide an invaluable source for anyone interested in Irish art and for art historians, curators, auction houses, collectors – and for any student of 19th-century Irish history and society.’
— Julian Campbell, THE IRISH ARTS REVIEW

The annual exhibitions of the Royal Hibernian Academy of Arts, founded in 1823 and still active today, provided a bridge between the Irish artist and the public, including critics and collectors. The Academy also ran the main art school for aspiring artists in the nineteenth century. During the Easter Rising of 1916 its galleries and school in Lower Abbey Street were destroyed by fire. It survived in borrowed space, but faced major challenges from modernism in the visual arts.

By the end of the twentieth century it had redeemed its role in its new gallery in Ely Place, opened, still incomplete, in 1985. The narrative of this stunning compendium is one of change, conflict and adaption. The book is divided into two volumes that describe two different political, social and artistic worlds: Volume One (1823-1916), and Volume Two (1916-2010).

Despite the age of the RHA, this is the first book to be published on its history.



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Weight 1 kg

Two-volume HB, slipcase, 250 x 176 mm


Vol.1 – 496pp | Vol.2 – 728pp + 64pp illustrations

Publication Date

November 2018