Burns Library to Host Irish Famine Art Exhibit

(6-24-98) -- Approximately 45 paintings and sculptures inspired by Ireland's Great Famine of 150 years ago will be exhibited for two weeks in Burns Library beginning Monday.

The works were commissioned by the George Moore Society of County Mayo, Ireland in 1995. According to Burns Librarian Robert O'Neill, this is the first, and perhaps only, showing of the artwork outside of Ireland.

A reception opening the exhibit will be held Friday evening.

"We chose this weekend because of the unveiling of the Famine Memorial in Boston," said O'Neill. He added that the Moore Society sought out Burns Library for the Boston showing because of its renowned Irish Collection and strong connection to Irish culture.

The exhibition consists of about 45 paintings in various media and about 10 sculptures, O'Neill said. The artists span three generations of contemporary Ireland, he added.

The Great Famine began in 1845 and lasted about five years. A fungus decimated the island's potato crop, the primary food source for its impoverished inhabitants, and sparked a mass emigration. Millions of those who left came to America, many of them to the Boston area.

The exhibition will be on display in the Burns Library's Trustees' Boardroom weekdays from June 29 through July 10 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., with the exception of Friday, July 3 when it will be closed.

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