Crawford Art Gallery is delighted to announce that it has acquired a significant artwork for its collection at auction in Dublin. There was significant interest in the work from private collectors and international institutions.
The painting in question by Cork artist Daniel MacDonald (1821-1853), The Village Funeral – An Irish Family by a Graveside during the Great Famine is oil on canvas. It is an important acquisition for the gallery and also an important work to return to the city. The painting completes a suite of works concerning key aspects of Irish life in the mid-nineteenth century.
The Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD, said: “I am delighted that my Department was able to provide funding to the Crawford Art Gallery to enable it to secure this important painting for its collection. The Government will be investing €22 million in the Crawford Art Gallery over the coming decade as part of Project Ireland 2040 and the growth of the gallery’s collection through acquisitions, such as this, will be a great compliment to this capital investment.”
The painting last changed hands in Bonham’s of London in 1966 and was purchased by Peter Boydell of Westbourne Terrace, London.
Rose McHugh Chair of Crawford Art Gallery said: “This acquisition demonstrates a real commitment from Crawford Art Gallery to building our collection and ensuring works of national and international significance can be exhibited together in Cork.”
The Village Funeral by Daniel MacDonald depicts a scene of rural Irish mourning during the Great Famine era. More naturalistic and painterly than his earlier works, this undated painting is likely from the period in which the self-taught Cork artist made his celebrated Eviction Scene (c.1850).
MacDonald is nearly unique in his representation of rural life and customs in Ireland during the turbulent 1840s and fifties. The Crawford Art Gallery collection holds a series of original drawings by the artist, in addition to larger paintings, Bowling Match at Castlemary, Cloyne (1842), General Sir Rowland Smyth K.C.B. (1845), A Country Dance, or The Wedding Dance (1848), and Eviction Scene (c.1850).
Mary McCarthy, Gallery Director, expressed her ”appreciation to all those who encouraged and supported the gallery to acquire this work. This painting will contribute immensely to our nineteenth century collection and will certainly be a much sought-after work by the public and researchers into the future. We are delighted to have secured it for the national collection”.
Crawford Art Gallery
Emmet Place, Cork
021 490 7855