1 March 2022
By Elaine Murphy
A new exhibition of paintings from the Port of Cork Collection is set to open in Cork following their donation to Crawford Art Gallery.
These unique maritime artworks were gifted by The Port of Cork Company in November 2021 are being displayed free to the public since the weekend, for the first time since their acquisition.
Now visitors will have the opportunity to encounter a selection of paintings from the Port of Cork Collection, including works by Irish artists George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson (1806-1884), Henry Albert Hartland (1840-1893), Robert Lowe Stopford (1813-1898), and Seán Keating (1889-1977).
Curator of the exhibition, Dr Michael Waldron says: “Although not attending to certain social or political realities of late nineteenth-century Ireland, these artworks do act as a visual reminder of that time. They also underscore Cork Harbour’s links with empire, its international significance for commerce and trade, and ever-present story of migration.”
Waldron continues: “Some of these paintings are astonishingly beautiful or contain historical insights, and glimpses of half-remembered histories are framed within these heritage views of Cork Harbour. Each artist provides an insight into the Port of Cork’s operations, from Atkinson’s extraordinary rendering of naval vessels to Hartland and Stopford’s depictions of commercial shipping and leisure craft. Perhaps unexpectedly, Keating’s elevated View of the Port of Cork draws us into Cork City itself and remembers the busy working quays of recent memory.”
Among the exhibited works is View of the Port of Cork (c.1960), which offers an unusual, elevated perspective over the Cork docks upriver to the city. It is a rare example of Seán Keating’s landscape painting.
Visitors are invited to explore The Port of Cork Collection on the gallery’s top floor and to take in panoramic views of Cork Harbour from times long past. Turn back the clock on locations ranging from Monkstown and Cobh to Blackrock Castle and Haulbowline, and learn of the variety of seagoing vessels, including the famed SS Sirius.
The Port of Cork Collection runs until 28 August 2022 at Crawford Art Gallery, Cork. Entry to the exhibition is free.