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Art and Self-determination: Irish art in Paris, 1922

Dr Billy Shortall presents an informal talk on the World Congress of the Irish Race, held in Paris in January 1922, and the Exposition d’Art Irlandais that accompanied it. In association with the Congress the emerging Irish State presented the grand narrative of Irish cultural history, theatre, music, a series of lectures on Irish life, and more. The centrepiece of the spectacle was a month-long exhibition of Irish art. Organised at the Galerie Barbazanges, the exhibition was a bold statement in the art capital of the world by a new state. With 300 works, it presented a public display of artistic independence to support the Irish Free State’s claims of political independence. The talk followed by open discussion with IAAH members follows.

Presented in association with Irish Association of Art Historians (IAAH). The Irish Association of Art Historians is concerned with the advancement of the study of the history of art at every level in Ireland: in art galleries and museums, in universities, in art schools and departments, in the school system, and through independent scholarship and publication. More details here

Chair of IAAH – Dr Billy Shortall, is Ryan, Gallagher, Kennedy Research Fellow on the Cuala Press Project, Schooner Foundation, at Trinity College Dublin. More details here.

Related Exhibition


IMMA presents a major museum wide exhibition, Self-Determination: A Global Perspective, one of the largest exhibitions in the Museum’s history. The culmination of a three-year research project, this exhibition focuses on the nation-states that emerged in the wake of the First World War, exploring the role of art and artists in relation to the expression of national identities, nation-building, and statecraft.

See more details here