A New Ebook Seems to be at Previous Work and Sketches of a
Kathryn Milligan. Photo by Conor O’Leary.
In the 1960s, artist Flora Mitchell felt that Dublin was losing much of its heritage.
As a result, he began painting the city’s magnificent buildings – including those on Cork Street and Henrietta Street – which were torn down and destroyed.
Kathryn Milligan, a historian who wrote the new book, Painting Dublin, examines the works of Mitchell and five other artists who built streets and houses in Dublin with artwork.
“The things he says about Dublin in the 60’s are intertwined with what is happening now,” Milligan said.
Milligan, who studied history at University College Dublin and then did a PhD at Trinity College Dublin will begin launching his first book in December.
He wanted to see the connection between Dublin’s art and writing and share stories of artists who wrote about the city in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
If you get used to the Dublin art and the artists who painted it, it gives you the opportunity to see the city. “We walk in their footsteps every day,” he says.
The Old Magic of Dublin
“The ancient magic of Dublin lives mainly in its dye […] and it is up to us to do all we can to experience the excitement of the upcoming Dublin, ”Flora Mitchell told The Irish Times on September 4, 1959.
Born in Nebraska in 1890, Mitchell and his family moved to Dublin after his father found work in the Jameson distillery.
He began filming the destruction of the iconic buildings in 1916 Ride and Civil War, exhibited by the Dublin Sketching Club, and photographs illuminated the city.
In 1930 she married William Jameson, a great-grandson of John Jameson, who invented Jameson’s herbal machine. Jameson was a sailor and after marriage he moved to the Isle of Wight.
Mitchell returned to Dublin after the death of her husband in 1939. In the late 1940’s, she again began to exhibit her paintings.
He published his first and only book _Vanishing Dublin _ in 1966, a series of ancient marine artworks, as well as descriptions and streets of the city.
The “Irish House” on Wood Quay was one of the most famous houses to be demolished as soon as it was painted.
Milligan was unable to make Mitchell’s drawings in the book, he says because no one knows who he is.
“He had no children so it would have passed on to his grandchildren,” says Milligan, “Somewhere in the world there are his descendants who have the right to freedom.”
It was fortunately purchased by the National Gallery of Ireland in 1969, so people can still see them, he says.
What Do They Think?
Another female artist mentioned in the book is Rose Barton, a water-based painter whose work took place in Dublin in the late 19th century.
Barton came from a very wealthy family and often portrayed the city as empty or wrong, says Milligan.
He is best known for his film “Going to the Levée At Dublin Castle” which depicts the wealthy people who drive to Dublin Castle in their cars at a large party called Levée. In this picture, the poor people sit in a line to watch this.
“We don’t know if they see divisions as a normal part of life or if they are responsible,” Milligan said.
There is no record of Barton’s thoughts, he says. “It’s a well-known problem in the history of art, that no one keeps the letters and writings of women artists.”
The book is a celebration of women artists in Dublin, says Milligan. But it was artist Harry Kernoff who first caught up with him.
The Kernoff family came from Belarus and was born in London. He had to follow in his father’s footsteps as a minister and had started his education, Milligan said. But then he graduated with a degree from Taylor to attend the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art.
“He was involved in politics on the left and often photographed city workers,” he says.
His paintings at ports, railway stations, and industrial transportation are well-known, he says. Along with his travel and street art, Kernoff is best known for his Dublin vegetation series, as well as his 1941 piece titled “Davy Byrne’s Pub”.
Kernoff is interesting because when he filmed Dublin, he was also part of Dublin at the same time. “They live there, working there. It gives him a head start to do his job, but people also see him as part of the road, “Milligan said.
“Harry had a real sense of humor, he was funny,” says his sister Kate Kernoff, on a phone call from London.
He was a kind and obedient man, he said, shy but still popular.
He remembers visiting Dublin as a 12-year-old boy in 1958, and Harry accompanied him one afternoon. He said: “About halfway down the road, they could talk to each other.”
He also remembers his humility. When she told her paintings on the show, she was about to be embarrassed by it, she says.
Harry loved going to the printery and had a lot of friends there, he says. But he could not have many drinks.
Her friends tell her to follow the line to get home late at night, she says.
Milligan says the launch of his book, Painting Dublin, in December would have been more exciting if only pubs were open.
“One of the things I like to laugh about is that when the book comes out we crawl on Kernoff’s team,” he says. “Bring this book and have a drink of it.”
During World War I, photographing the city was permitted under special circumstances
from Dublin Metropolitan Police, says Milligan.
“Maybe you pull something that will help the enemy,” he says.
Estella Solomons was a member of Cumann and MBan, who hid people fleeing her studio in Pearse Street, Milligan said. But he met with the police because of the pictures.
Solomons had permission to paint in parks like Phoenix Park and Botanic Gardens, but not on the city streets. “They tell him they can paint flowers or trees, but all he wants to do is show the city,” Milligan said.
He was arrested at Wellington Quay and received an angry letter from police for photographing without permission. “I remind you a little bit of what happens outside of an artist’s life,” he says. “They live in a time of war.”
Jack B Yeats may have had a license because he always draws a pencil, says Milligan.
Foods can be recalled 20 or 30 years later and photographed, he says. “They just take it all the time,” Milligan says. As people draw today.
He loved to paint city life. “What impresses him is the integration of the people who live there, the people who live there, but the advertisers as well,” says Milligan.
The Yeats collected advertising material, ballad papers (purchased from traveling musicians), tickets, theater programs and newspaper clippings, he says.
Events in Dublin
In the “Fish Market” Walter Osborne shows a fishmonger on Patrick Street. But behind the fishmongers is a small group of people gathered around a diversion.
This aroused Milligan’s curiosity. “What’s the story of the paramedics? Where do they come from? ”
He noted that in the 19th century, most Italians lived on Chancery Lane, near Patrick Street, and several were paramedics, he said.
There was mass migration and migration within Ireland where people tend to think, says Milligan.
“Dublin has had a lot more people, we like to look more at those who have left than coming here,” he says.
Milligan claims that all the artists are from a variety of backgrounds, religions, and backgrounds. What connects them is that they are painting the same city.
This reminds us that even at that time, the city was different. “There is not a single experience in Dublin,” he says.
Painting Dublin is released on December 6 and is available for a pre-order here from Manchester University Press.