Carlow Visual Arts
Cultural History, Famous Painting/Sculpture and Art Museums.

County Carlow, Leinster Province
Republic of Ireland.

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

Visual Arts in County Carlow

Situated to the west of Counties Wicklow and Wexford is the inland County of Carlow (Ceatharlach). Located to the south east of Ireland, in the province of Leinster, it has a population of 46,014, and its capital is Carlow town on the River Barrow.

Early Visual Arts

Among Carlow's earliest visual artists were the eighth century monks who produced the Mulling (Moling) Gospels. This illuminated religious manuscript, now kept at Trinity College Dublin is an excellent example of Irish monastic art, with complex Celtic-style illustration.

Note: For the history of Celtic culture
and examples of ancient metalwork
created by the first Celts, see:
Celtic Art. For a guide to the earliest
styles, which influenced so many
Irish draughtsmen and metalworkers
during the renaissance of the early
Christian era, see: Hallstatt (800-450)
and La Tene (c.450-50 BCE).

Famous Artists

More modern Irish artists born in or associated with Carlow, include: Frank O'Meara (1853-1888), the Landscape Artist in the French Naturalist Tradition and a major figure in Irish art; and John Schwatschke (b.1943), the portrait artist in Oils, Gouache, Ink and Watercolours.

New Cultural Centre For Carlow

Construction has started on the new visual arts centre - The National Centre for Contemporary Art and the George Bernard Shaw Theatre. Situated in Carlow Town, within the grounds of Carlow College, the Centre will exhibit contemporary art by Carlow, Irish and international artists. It will also host Éigse Carlow Arts festival and be a home for the county's performing arts. The Centre is set to become a major cultural and community asset for the area.


Visual Arts Program

Visual arts include Irish painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, filmmaking and other modern artforms. The County's new arts program - "Visualise Carlow" - brings three art events to Carlow each year to promote our forthcoming National Centre for Contemporary Art. Through temporary public art shows and artworks, Visualise Carlow aims to establish the type of connections with local, national and international groups to help maintain Carlow's reputation as a centre for visual arts. See also Artlinks.

Examples of Previous Arts Events

Previous Carlow Art Projects have included: "Sweet Futures", involving a variety ofconsumable landscapes by Sarah Browne; a film project conducted inside Altamont House, by National film maker Pat Murphy; the Carlow African Film Festival; Carlow Children’s Arts Festival; SPLANC, a new festival to augment cultural activities in County Carlow for young people including visual art, and literary events. One of the latter's most striking shows was based on "Francis Street Boys 1994", a series of schoolboy busts by American sculptor John Ahearn, commissioned by the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

• For more about the historical heritage of the province of Leinster, see: Homepage.
• For a list of the top living painters in Ireland, see: Best Irish Artists/Painters.
• For details of art gallery venues in Ireland, see: Irish Art Galleries.

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