The paintings show life and landscapes from the Ulster painters' heydays. © Fermanagh County Museum
Exhibition preview: Ulster Painters 1900-1945 at Fermanagh County Museum, Enniskillen Castle, until May 31 2008.
Ulster Museum may be closed for a major overhaul, but its collections are not being hidden away – they’re going out on show at other venues in Northern Ireland.
One of the shows to come from the Ulster Museum outreach programme is Ulster Painters 1900-1945, now on show at Fermanagh County Museum thanks to an exceptional loan agreement.
It’s a coup for Fermanagh and the other venues on the exhibition’s tour, because the 23 paintings in the show are real fine art treasures from the Belfast museum. Artists represented include major 20th century figures William Conor, Paul Henry, James Humbert Craig, Charles Lamb, John Luke and Colin Middleton – all trained in Belfast.
The colourful works are inspired by subjects ranging from the Irish landscape to working class life in the city and even bustling market scenes from France.
Highlights include The Blacksmith (1910-13), by Paul Henry, and William Conor’s The City Hall under Snow (c1920s), an evocative image of Belfast’s City Hall.
Self Portrait (c1927-28) by John Luke reveals his prowess in capturing expression, while A Good Catch, Co. Donegal (1943-44) was James Humbert Craig’s last ever painting.
Dr Jim McGreevy (National Museums Northern Ireland), Sarah McHugh (Fermanagh Museum) and Dr Eileen Black (Ulster Museum). © Fermanagh County Museum
Alongside Ulster Painters is a display of works by an artist closely linked to Fermanagh, Kathleen Bridle (1897-1989). Born in England, Kathleen made Fermanagh her home from the 1920s, working as an art teacher.
“The Ulster Painters exhibition is a rare opportunity to view a substantial number of important paintings from the Ulster Museum’s collection on show here at Enniskillen Castle,” says Sarah McHugh, Museum Services Manager at Fermanagh Museum.
“It is perfectly complemented by an exhibition focusing on Kathleen Bridle, an artist whose work and teaching influenced other key Ulster painters from Fermanagh, William Scott and TP Flanagan.”
This is an exhibition preview. If you’ve been to see the show, why not let us know what you think?