Visual Arts in Monaghan
Cultural History, Famous Painters/Sculptors, Exhibitions and Art Centres (like Tyrone Guthrie Centre).

County Monaghan, Ulster Province,
Republic of Ireland.

Note: For an outline of Celtic culture
along with ancient artworks of the
Celts, see: Celtic Art. For details of
the earliest styles, which influenced
so many Irish metalworkers during
the renaissance of the early Christian
era, see: Hallstatt (c.800-450 BCE)
and La Tene (c.450-50 BCE).

Visual Arts in County Monaghan

Lying on the border with Northern Ireland in the province of Ulster, County Monaghan (Muine Cheain) - bordered by Louth and Cavan - was named after its numerous glacial hillocks - the phrase Muine Cheain means "land of the little hills". The population of the county is 52,593 and its capital is Monaghan Town. Other major towns include Carrickmacross, Castleblayney, and Clones. The county is celebrated in the works of the literary artist Patrick Kavanagh.

Early Visual Art

Clones, in County Monaghan, is the site of a 15-foot Celtic High Cross sculpture - one of many high crosses carved by Irish artists in medieval times. In fact, the Clones cross comprises the head of one cross and the trunk of another. They originated from a local monastery founded by Saint Tighernach during the sixth century. The cross includes a number of reliefs from the Old Testament, the Adoration of the Magi, the Marriage Feast at Cana, and a scene from the Crucifixion.

For a list of national sites of
noted historical, architectural or
artistic significance, see:
Architectural Monuments Ireland and
Archeological Monuments Ireland.


Famous Visual Artists

Renowned Monaghan-born painters include: George Collie, (Portrait art); Siobhan McDonald, (Interior Designer and Artist); Alexander Williams, (Landscape and Marine Painter).

Art Museums, Galleries and Venues

Founded in 1974, Monaghan County Museum was the first council-funded museum in the Republic of Ireland. Since then, its commitment to presenting Monaghan's arts, culture and heritage has won it numerous awards including the Council of Europe Museum Prize and the Norwich Union Award for Best Collections Care. Its new facilities, necessitated by a fire in its original premises, allow it to display its permanent collection of Irish art, crafts and historical items to full advantage in several exhibition galleries. The highlight of the museum - an exquisite example of medieval metalwork art - is the 15th-century Cross of Clogher, an oak cross covered with bronze and semi-precious metals, depicting figures of the saints.

Other galleries and art venues in County Monaghan include the oldest gallery building in the county - Market House, Monaghan (built 1792) (047-38158) as well as: Iontas Arts Gallery, Castleblayney 042-9753400); Patrick Kavanagh Arts Centre, Inniskeen (042-9378560); and The Carrick Gallery, Carrickmacross (042-9662916).


Tyrone Guthrie Centre

The Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, is a unique artistic venue situated in 450 acres of forested estate in County Monaghan. Artists are permitted to stay at the centre for up to three months in the main residence, or for up to 12 months in one of the five available self-catering houses. The centre offers a range of different workspaces from smaller drawing and illustration workspaces to the large area for sculpture and fine art painting. The centre also has a large library.

• For more about Irish culture, see: Ireland Visual Arts.
• For more about the historical heritage of the province of Ulster, see: Homepage.
• For a list of the top living painters in Ireland, see: Best Irish Artists/Painters.

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