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Edward McGuire, 1932–1986

Exhibition & Archive Material- Studio Memorabilia

In 2009 Sally McGuire, the wife of the artist Edward McGuire (1932-1986), donated 130 key items from the studio contents of Edward McGuire to the National Collection at IMMA. Reminiscent of a Renaissance Wunderkammer or cabinet of curiosities, McGuire’s studio objects reflect an esoteric interest in natural history such as the glass-cased and mounted specimens of taxidermy birds, shells, a sheep’s skull, a mummified cat. His method was organised and scientific: sitters recall a sense of the laboratory as the artist regarded them from beneath his green visor.

In 2014 graduating students of the BA (Hons.) in Visual Arts Practice, IADT, produced a documentary on the contents of the McGuire studio. The resulting documentary can be viewed at

Credit LineIMMA Collection: Donated by Sally Maguire, 1997
Item NumberIA/EMS/496
Copyright For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].
Image Caption
Edward McGuire, Exhibition & Archive Material- Studio Memorabilia, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Donated by Sally Maguire, 1997

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].

About the Artist

Edward McGuire 1932–1986

Irish painter Edward McGuire studied art in Italy before attending the Slade School of Fine Art, London. Best known for his studies of dead birds and portraits of writers and poets, McGuire’s paintings have a surreal, static quality which defies the realist precision with which they are executed. McGuire exhibited widely during his lifetime. He was elected a member of the RHA in 1978 and a member of Aosdána in 1984.

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Important Notice


We would like to advise our visitors that our Main Reception area is closed for renovation from 22 April until mid-June. A temporary reception is open on the ground floor next to the original main entrance. There are three exhibitions to visit  Hilary Heron: A Retrospective; Derry Film & Video Workshop and Self: Determination: Artists Commissions. IMMA’s shop, café and gardens are all open.