In|discussion – Niamh O’Sullivan

The Black Line Drawn Across History’: John Mulvany and Irish Political Imagery
6.30pm Wednesday, 7 March 2012
Lecture Room G6, School of Art Design and Printing
Dublin Institute of Technology, 41 Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1


Niamh O’Sullivan is Professor Emeritus of Visual Culture (National College of Art and Design). She writes on nineteenth century Irish, Irish-American and French art and popular culture. She won the Irish-American Cultural Institute ‘Award for Pioneering Irish-American Scholarship’, in 1998 and 2003. Her book, Aloysius O’Kelly: Art, Nation, Empire was published by Field Day in 2010 . She curated the millennium exhibition Re:Orientations. Aloysius O’Kelly: Painting, Politics and Popular Culture at the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, 1999-2000. She also has research interests in art and museum education. She is currently a Director of the Irish Museums Trust, and on the advisory committee of the Royal Irish Academy Irish Art and Architecture, vol. 5.

John Mulvany’s nineteenth-century Irish paintings place visual art at the centre an emergent cultural and political nationalism, traditionally perceived as the preserve of poets and playwrights, journalists and politicians. His historical paintings were no incidental exercise in nostalgia, but purposeful, positioning images, designed to press powerful memories into contemporary political use. If out of violence and trauma comes renewed resolve, Mulvany’s Battle of Aughrim may be seen as an exemplification of Ireland’s glorious past. His Irish political portraits were conceived to summon the injustices of history to mind, and act as rallying calls in the present. Mulvany thus saw himself as creating images of hope, and incitement to action. His commitment to the cause was unwavering, and brought him into the line of fire of one of the most celebrated murders of the nineteenth century.

This is a free event and all are welcome. To secure your place, please book by email: