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WORK OF THE WEEK | 26 August 2019

CAG.42 Muriel Brandt, Trath Scoile, Cnoc Foile, Tir Conaill, before 1948, oil on board, 28.5 x 31.5 cm. Purchased, An tOireachtas, 1948 (Gibson Bequest Fund). © the artist’s estate.

This WORK OF THE WEEK is giving us serious back-to-school vibes!

A familiar sight and feeling to children and grownups alike, this classroom scene shows different levels of attention to a heard, but not seen, teacher. While three of the children appear focused on the subject at hand, two that sit further back seem to have got distracted. Returning to school isn’t all study, as it can also mean renewing friendships and getting back to the playground!

Trath Scoile, Cnoc Foile, Tir Conaill (before 1948) by Muriel Brandt depicts school time at Gweedore (Gaoth Dobhair) in the Donegal Gaeltacht. Although painted in the 1940s, this charming work might also serve as a reminder of the Irish Folklore Commission’s schools scheme (1937-38) in which more than 50,000 children participated.

Belfast-born artist Muriel Brandt (1909-1981) – who attended both the Belfast College of Art and Royal College of Art, London – was noted for her portrait and subject paintings. She was elected to the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1962.

Trath Scoile, Cnoc Foile, Tir Conaill by Muriel Brandt is featured in SEEN, NOT HEARD until 28 October 2019. Other works by the artist – The Breadline, 1916 and An Samhradh Samh – are on display in THE GIBSON BEQUEST 1919-2019: Selecting, Collecting & Philanthropy.

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