Maurice Craig: Photographs
By: Maurice Craig
Publication Date: December 2011
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With an introduction by the photographer and an afterword by Rolf Loeber, this book is part memento mori, part historical document – a tribute not only to Ireland’s buildings and architecture, but also to one of their greatest champions.
‘Ignorance and indifference rather than wilful destruction have been major obstacles to the preservation of Ireland’s architectural heritage. The contribution of architectural historian and erstwhile poet, Maurice Craig, to the survival of that heritage has been immense. Unlike many campaigning warriors, his approach could never be described as aggressive or righteous. His style is as civilised as the buildings he has described, in many cases immortalised.’ – The Irish Times
‘One of the great strengths of Maurice Craig’s perception of architectural qualities was that it did not depend on strict standards of what academics considered good or bad architecture. Instead, he developed his own standards of what he found interesting or exceptional, telling a story about the buildings without dropping in the quagmire of odd anecdotes of their owners.’ – Irish Arts Review
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).
ABOUT THE EDITOR
AMANDA BELL is a freelance editor living in Dublin.