Art Buzz February 1, 2012: Boston College’s McMullen Museum of Art: Days In The Lives McMullen exhibition shows artists’ interest in 19th, 20th century rural Ireland

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Days In The Lives

McMullen exhibition shows artists’ interest in 19th, 20th century rural Ireland

Source: Boston College, 2-2-12
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“Rural Ireland: The Inside Story,” which will run through June 3, is an exclusive exhibition that introduces American viewers to many recently discovered genre paintings of 19th-century rural interiors.
The lives of 19th-century Irish country people — how they worshipped, mourned, conducted business, arranged their homes, and educated and entertained themselves — will be the subject of a new McMullen Museum of Art exhibition opening Feb. 11.

“Rural Ireland: The Inside Story,” which will run through June 3, is an exclusive exhibition that introduces American viewers to many recently discovered genre paintings of 19th-century rural interiors. It also offers new visual evidence about the varied lives of a politically marginalized population.

Inspired by recent scholarship, “Rural Ireland” reveals that artists working in 19th and early 20th-century Ireland frequently turned to the lives of the country’s rural poor for subject matter — thus challenging assumptions that artists working in Ireland painted only the “big houses” and landscapes of an Anglo-Irish elite society.

Although the works on display reveal poverty and deprivation during the Famine era, they convey aesthetic pleasures, spiritual satisfactions, and tenants’ negotiations with a growing consumer economy.

The museum will hold a free opening celebration for the Boston College community and general public on Feb. 13 from 7-9 p.m.

The exhibition comprises outstanding works of art from such lenders as the National Gallery of Ireland, the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, the National Library of Ireland, the Ulster Museum, the National Gallery of Scotland, as well as from a range of smaller public and private collections in Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“The McMullen Museum is pleased to present this examination of paintings, many recently discovered, and of newly-collected artifacts from Irish rural life,” said McMullen Museum Director and Professor of Art History Nancy Netzer. “The exhibition tells the ‘inside story’ of Ireland’s country people through its selection of outstanding genre interiors, most never displayed in North America.”…READ MORE

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