Speakers for 2019-20

in chronological order

Diarmuid O Drisceoil

Diarmuid O Drisceoil has written and co-written a number of books on Cork local history – The Murphy’s Story: The History of Lady’s Well Brewery (1997), Serving a City: The Story of Cork’s English Market, (2005), Douglas Golf Club: Centenary History 1909-2009 (2009), Fifty Years Have Flown: The History of Cork Airport, (2011), Beamish & Crawford: The History of an Irish Brewery (2015) and most recently The Ring of Blackrock: A Walking Guide & History (2018). He has featured in a number of TV documentaries and is a regular contributor to Radio na Gaeltachta’s Saol ó Dheas programme on matters relating to Cork heritage.

Éimear O’Connor

Dr Éimear O’Connor is an art historian and curator. She is the biographer of Irish artist, Seán Keating, and author of books, chapters, articles, and reviews on Irish art. She is an Honorary member of the Royal Hibernian Academy.

Róisín Kennedy

Róisín is an art historian and curator. She lectures in the School of Art History and Cultural Policy at UCD. Her research focuses on the critical reception of modernist art in Ireland, on censorship and on the position of women as artists and subjects in modernist art. She has published widely in edited collections including Atlas of the Irish Revolution, Cork University Press, 2017 and in peer-reviewed journals. She is former Yeats Curator at the National Gallery of Ireland and of the State Collections at Dublin Castle. She is co-editor of Censoring Art. Silencing the Artwork, I.B. Tauris, 2018 and Harry Clarke and Artistic Visions of the New Irish State, Irish Academic Press, 2018. She is currently co-editing a new edition of Sources on Irish Art for Cork University Press.

Angela Ryan

Dr Angela Ryan agrégeé de l’Université, Senior Lecturer in the Department of French, UCC, has specialist publications on French culture and ideas, Women’s Studies, and Translation/Interpreting studies, including on the great French sculptor Camille Claudel (1864-1943). Dr Ryan has spent much of her life in France. Her recent books are on George Sand, and on Heroines in Greek and French Tragedy. She directed the MA in Translation and Interpreting Studies (French) in UCC 1992-2018. Her public lectures on French and related art and aesthetics have been widely followed, as was her solo recital of French and Italian arias in the Crawford Gallery in 2008. She showed her paintings at the Centre culturel irlandais, Paris in June 2017.

Tom Spalding

Tom Spalding is a PhD scholar at the Technical University, Dublin (previously the Dublin Institute of Technology). His special area of study is the design of twentieth century buildings and interiors in Cork city between 1920 and 1970. He is the author of a number of books on Cork, including ‘The Cork International Exhibitions, 1902 & 1903’ and ‘A Guide to Cork’s Twentieth Century Architecture’. He can be contacted at tom.spalding@mydit.ie.  

William Gallagher

Portrait of William Gallagher, Derek Hill 1992

William Gallagher is an independent lecturer and occasional writer on art and art history. From 1989-93 he curated the Glebe House and Gallery (The Derek Hill collection) in Donegal. Before this he taught at the Crawford College in Cork, and later ran the visual arts programmes and art history course at UCC. More recently he worked at the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin, and also delivered courses in Dutch art and Modernism at Trinity College Dublin, and Irish 20th-century art in UCD. Publications include Glenveagh Castle (OPW, 1992), The National Self-Portrait Collection of Ireland catalogue (vol 2.), and essays in the Royal Irish Academy’s Art and Architecture of Ireland (vols. III & V) and catalogue of the Janet Mullarney exhibition at the Highlands Gallery Drogheda in 2015.

Matthew Whyte

Matthew teaches and researches in the History of Art Department at University College Cork, where he is College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences Excellence Scholar. He received his BA in History of Art and Philosophy from UCC, followed by an MRes in History of Art, specialising in Renaissance Italy and the work of  Michelangelo Buonarroti. He teaches across the undergraduate programme in History of Art, and is Coordinator of the Diploma in European Art History for the Centre for Adult Continuing Education. For the latter, he regularly offers public Short Courses on aspects of Italian art, leading field trips in Italy to support learning. Since 2018, Matthew has led both private and public tours for the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork. He works as an Art History Lecturer for Zegrahm Expeditions. Currently, Matthew’s research engages with cultural exchange in Renaissance Italy, examining the impact of 13th and 14th century sculpture on that of the High Renaissance.

Bláithín Hurley

Dr. Bláithín Hurley is a Lecturer in History of Art at University College Cork.  A graduate of UCC, University of Warwick and University of Cambridge, Bláithín’s research interests include the music and art of Renaissance Venice, and the cultural life of nineteenth-century Ireland.  She has presented widely in her fields in Ireland, the UK, Italy and Switzerland.  Bláithín’s forthcoming publications are:  The Barber Music Teacher in Early-Modern Venice (Brepols, 2019); ‘A Virtue to be Esteemed of: Music of the Veneto as Encountered by Thomas Whythorne (Brepols, 2020); The Changing Face of Saint Cecilia: Women and Music in Renaissance Italy (Brepols, 2020).

Ann Wilson

Dr Ann Wilson lectures in Visual Culture in the Media Communications department in Cork Institute of Technology. She has written extensively on the imagery and decoration of neo-Gothic Irish churches, especially St Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh and St Finbarr’s Cathedral in Cork, on which she co-authored a book with Dr. David Lawrence. She has also published papers and chapters on the work of the Cork sculptor Seamus Murphy, the Irish Arts and Crafts movement and Revivalism, religious material culture in early twentieth-century Ireland, and the work of the stained-glass artist Harry Clarke, most recently a chapter in the book Harry Clarke and Artistic Visions of the New Irish State published by Irish Academic Press in 2018. Her current research interests focus mainly on the representational and communicative functions of popular imagery in early twentieth-century Ireland, and she is writing a book on the picture postcard phenomenon in Edwardian Ireland.