BY JUDY CARMACK BROSS
Over a dazzling candlelit dinner, Sir David Davies, President of the Irish Georgian Society, announced to the 130 guests in attendance an exciting plan: the reopening of the restored City Assembly House in Dublin, with an exhibition of art first hung there in the 1760s.
Members of the American board, including Lawrie Weed; Thomas Cooney; Steve Zick; Tom Tormey; and Maribeth Heeran, head of the Chicago chapter, celebrated the announcement that Chicagoans Kay and Fred Krehbiel will be among those lending art works for the opening.
With its US headquarters based here in Chicago, the group has done significant fundraising for the project. Many of those present are already planning to attend the June 15th weekend full of events in Dublin, to which the President of Ireland, Michael Higgins, has been invited.
Founded by the Hon. Desmond Guinness and Mariga Guinness for the protection of buildings of architectural merit, the Irish Georgian Society has saved many fine homes through its support of architecture and decorative arts.
Irish guests at the evening included Michael Wall, Chairman of the Irish Board of Directors; David Fleming, outgoing chair; Donough Cahill, Executive Director in Ireland; noted writer and expert on all things Irish Georgian, Robert O’Byrne; and Michael Kerrigan, US Executive Director.
Michael Kerrigan reported:
“The Irish Georgian Society’s restoration of the City Assembly House on South William Street brings with it an exciting and unprecedented opportunity to recreate a seminal moment in the history of Irish art. Celebrating the building’s original incarnation as the first purpose-built public art gallery in Britain and Ireland, the exhibit will reassemble some of the very paintings and works of art in the room in which they were first displayed.
“For the duration of the show, the walls of the octagonal space will once again be hung with the works of some of Ireland’s finest painters and sculptors and coming from some of the finest homes and museums.”
Congratulations to the Chicago committee—30 members strong—for helping to fund this tribute to Irish treasures.