Edward McGuire
Irish Portraitist, Still Life Artist and Bird Painter.


Edward McGuire RHA (1932-1986)

The Irish portrait artist, still life and bird painter Edward McGuire was born in Dublin. He studied painting, drawing and the history of art at the Academy of Fine Art in Rome, and at the Slade School of Fine Art, London. He spent the years 1951-2 travelling in France and Italy and lived on the Aran Islands off County Galway from 1955-56. From then until his death in 1986 he resided in Dublin.

Edward McGuire was a prolific portrait artist. He first exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) in 1962 and became an academician in 1978. His subjects included: Séamus Heaney (1974), Sean O'Faoilain (1978), Ulick O'Connor (1978), James White (1981) and Liam Cosgrave (1982).


Edward McGuire's paintings were widely exhibited during his lifetime. He had solo shows at the Dawson Gallery, Dublin (A Recent Painting, 1969); Taylor Galleries, Dublin (1983), and a retrospective at the Royal Hibernian Academy Gallagher Gallery (1991). In addition, he exhibited in such group art shows as: Irish Exhibition of Living Art (1953-71); Royal Hibernian Academy (1962-86); Hendriks Gallery, Dublin (1970); Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art (1971); Ulster Museum, Belfast (1973); Oireachtas (1973-80); Cagnes-sur-Mer 6th International Festival of Painting (1974); Concours pour le Prix de Portrait Paul-Louis Weiller, Academie des Beaux Arts, Paris (1979). All this, notwithstanding a laboriously meticulous painting technique which led to the completion of only about six works of art a year. McGuire's keen interest in bird-painting stemmed from the association in his youth with a taxidermist at the Natural History Museum in Dublin. McGuire purchased three stuffed specimens from Mr Williams, starting a bird collection whose members he painted repeatedly in intricate detail throughout his career.


A member of Aosdána from 1984, McGuire won numerous awards during his distinguished career, including the 1974 Festival International de la Peinture, Cagnes sur Mer; the Douglas Hyde Gold Medal (1976) and the Marten Toonder Award (1978). He received honourable mention in the Concours Paul-Louis Weiller (1979). His paintings are held in many private and public collections, including: Ulster Museum, Belfast; the National Gallery of Ireland; the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art in Dublin; The National Museum; Trinity College Dublin; University College Dublin; University College Cork; Dublin City University, Dublin Writers' Museum and the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

More Information About Visual Arts in Ireland

• For details of other classical painters and sculptors, see: Irish Artists: Paintings and Biographies.
• For more about naturalist painters like Edward McGuire, see: Irish Art Guide.
• For more about academic art, see: Homepage.

History of Irish Art
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