Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac’s exhibition “Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger” begins its tour around Ireland.
Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, has sent its acclaimed art collection to Ireland. The works will travel from Dublin Castle to Skibbereen and on to Derry - diametric epicenters of the Great Famine (1845-52) - for the exhibition “Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger”.
The museum’s collection, the only one of its kind in the world, constitutes an incomparable direct link to the past of almost 6.5 million Irish and 40 million Irish-American people.
The death and dispersion of 2 million people, followed by a further 2 million emigrations to the end of the century, makes the exhibition an important gesture of cultural reconnection. The Irish diaspora defines Ireland’s place in the world today. The impact of the Famine is still with its descendants—both at home and abroad.
This exhibition features the historical and contemporary art of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, whose mission is to interpret the Famine visually. The art, by some of the most important Irish and Irish-American artists, represents and remembers the loss of life, the emigration, the economic devastation, and the erosions of language and culture that resulted from the Famine.
The conflicting need to remember, and the desperate need to forget, result in an extraordinarily moving exhibition, and is accompanies by a rich contextual programme of lectures, readings and performances.
This major undertaking aims to strengthen the deep cultural connection between Ireland and its diaspora by showcasing the world’s largest collection of Great Hunger-related art never before exhibited on Irish soil.
Through the museum’s collection, layers of history are peeled back to uncover aspects of the story indecipherable by other means. Above all, the artworks stand proud as powerful, reflective and inspirational expressions of who the Irish once were, and how they became the people they are today—each piece chosen for its quality as art.
Coming Home will be on view at Dublin Castle’s Coach House through June 30, 2018. It will then move on to that Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, in Skibbereen, County Cork, from July 20 to October 13 and then on to Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, in Derry from January 18 2019 to March 16.
For more information visit www.artandthegreathunger.org.