Artistic Visitors and their Legacy
Harry Clarke (1889 to 1931) was undoubtedly Ireland’s greatest stained glass artist. During his short life Harry created stained glass windows for churches, private dwellings and commercial venues throughout Ireland and England, and as far afield as the USA and Australia.
In Mayo the stained glass windows can be seen at the following locations; Balla, Ballindine, Ballinrobe, Ballyhaunis, Callow, Charlestown, Claremorris, Cong, Kilmaine, Knock, Lahardaun, Newport, Roundfort, Tooreen and Westport.
Mayo County Council has also published a book titled Stained Glass Windows of Mayo by Harry Clarke and the Clarke Studios. This book can be purchased here.
Belfast-born artist Paul Henry (1876-1958) first visited Achill with his artist wife Grace in 1910. Inspired by both the landscape and the rural way of life, the Henry's stayed on Achill for most of the next nine years.
Paul Henry stayed at a number of locations on Achill, mainly in the area around Keel but also at Cloughmore and Dugort. His paintings of island life have now become iconic - in particular the paintings 'Launching the Currach', which shows fishermen setting off in a traditional canvas covered boat from the beach at Keem Bay, and 'The Potato Diggers', which shows local women digging for potatoes on the Achill hillsides.
Heinrich Boll was born in Germany in 1917 and won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1972. He carved out a career as a journalist and writer and in the late 1950's he made his first visit to Achill. Throughout the 1960's and into the 1970's, Boll lived and worked in Achill, residing in a cottage in the village of Dugort.
His book 'Irische Tagebuch', 'Irish Journal' is well known and recounts some of his experiences of Achill. The Boll Cottage in Dugort has been used since 1992 as an Artist's Residence.
A local committee, the Heinrich Boll Foundation in Germany, the Boll Family and Mayo County Council maintain the cottage and administers the Artists residency programme.
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