Mary Hendriksen | January 29, 2018
The Snite Museum of Art has received a gift from the Donald and Marilyn Keough family of 19 modern and contemporary paintings by Irish artists. Combined with earlier acquisitions of 18th-century prints by James Barry and Thomas Frye and photographs by Alen MacWeeney, the gift lays the foundation for a significant collection of Irish art spanning three centuries at the University of Notre Dame.
“This gift of paintings does not only represent an aesthetic contribution to Notre Dame,” said Patrick Griffin, Madden-Hennebry Professor of History and director of the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, “it also helps build a bridge between Ireland and the University. For these reasons, we are thrilled to have these paintings here. It is especially gratifying for me that the gift comes from one of our most generous benefactors, the Keough family.”
Included in the gift are prime examples of modern art by Jack B. Yeats, Roderic O’Conor and Paul Henry, among others. Yeats is probably the best known and most beloved Irish artist, notable for his expressionistic treatment of Irish subjects plucked from common life — horse races, fairs, the countryside and coastlines of Ireland. A participant in the Armory Show in New York in 1913, he developed a strong following in the United States and sold many of his best paintings to collectors on this side of the Atlantic.
Other artists represented in the collection are Nathaniel Hone, who introduced Barbizon naturalism into Irish landscape painting, Mary Swanzy, Grace Henry, Maurice Canning Wilks, Markey Robinson and James O’Halloran.