Patrick Collins (painter)

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Patrick Collins (1911–1994) was one of Ireland's foremost painters of the 20th century. He was elected HRHA (Honorary Council of the Royal Hibernian Academy) in 1980 and a member of Aosdána in 1981 and had a major retrospective exhibition by the Irish Arts Council (Cork, Belfast, Dublin) in 1982. Several solo exhibitions followed, including a Retrospective at Sligo Art Gallery in 1985. Two years later, Patrick Collins was the first artist to be honoured with the accolade SAOI by Aosdána in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the visual arts in Ireland. In 1988 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Literature from Trinity College, Dublin. His paintings have been exhibited widely in Ireland and in Europe, and are held in many public and private collections of Irish painting worldwide.[1][2][3][4][5]

"Patrick Collins has made a unique contribution to painting in our time by his power to evoke an aspect of Ireland which captures not only the primary image of the place and the people, but also its spiritual content. His grey-blue landscapes contain images of households, farms and figures, which emerge with a curious imprecise shape that is ultimately seen to be marked by folk-memory and by legend. Like a poet with words, his images penetrate areas beyond exact statement or description – they belong to the area of suggestion and imagination which cannot be identified outside the realm of his own idiom." (James White, Chairman of the Arts Council in the foreword to "Patrick Collins" by Frances Ruane[1])


Biographical outline[edit]

1911  Born in Dromore West, Co. Sligo, Lived in Riverstown and Sligo.
1925 School: St. Vincent's C.B.S., Glasnevin, Co. Dublin
Afterwards worked for Irish Life Insurance Company.
Studied briefly at National College of Art and Design with George Collie RHA and at National College of Art.
1950 First exhibits in Irish Exhibition of Living Art
Exhibits with IELA yearly until 1972
1956 First one-man show, Ritchie Hendriks Gallery, Dublin
Exhibits with Hendriks until 1973
1958 National Award in Guggenheim Award Exhibition.
1962 First Exhibits in Royal Hibernian Academy
1964 First exhibits in Oireachtas Exhibition. Exhibits regularly there until 1973 and rarely afterwards.
1971 Moves to Paris
Irish Landscape Prize in Oireachtas Exhibition
1973 Moves to Orne, Normandy.
1974 Exhibits with Tom Caldwell Galleries from hereafter
1976 Moves to Nice
Receives Irish American Cultural Institute Award.
1977 Moves back to Ireland
1980 Elected HRHA – Honorary Council of the Royal Hibernian Academy
1981 Becomes member of Aosdána[6]
1982 Major Retrospective Exhibition (Cork, Belfast, Dublin)
1985 Retrospective at Sligo Art Gallery
1987 First artist to be honoured with the accolade Saoi by Aosdána in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the visual arts in Ireland.
1988 Received Honorary Doctorate of Literature from Trinity College, Dublin



Solo exhibitions[edit]

1956, 1959, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968 Ritchie Hendriks Gallery, Dublin
1968 Mercury Gallery, London
1969, 1970, 1972 David Hendriks Gallery, Dublin
1973 David Hendriks Gallery at Cork Arts Society
1971, 1974, 1976 Tom Caldwell Gallery, Belfast
1975, 1976, 1978, 1979 Tom Caldwell Gallery, Dublin
1982 Collins Retrospective, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College Dublin (also in Cork and Belfast)[4]
1988, 1989, 1991 Tom Caldwell Gallery, Dublin
2011 "Last Daylight", Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin[7]

Selected group exhibitions[edit]

1950  Exhibition of Contemporary Irish Painting, North American Tour
1953 Irish Painting 1903–1953, Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, Dublin
Contemporary Irish Art, Aberyswyth, Wales
1958 Guggenheim Award Exhibition, New York
1963 Twelve Irish Painters, New York
1965 Paintings and Sculpture from Private Collections in Ireland, Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, Dublin
1966 Modern Irish Paintings, Great Southern Hotels and Ulster Museum, Belfast
1969 Contemporary Irish Painting, Wexford Festival
Exhibition of Modern Irish Painting, Northern European and Irish Tour
1970 Aspects of Landscape by Irish Artists, Irish touring exhibition.
1971 The Irish Imagination, Rosc '71, Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, Dublin
Paintings from the Collection of An Chomhairle Ealaion, Irish Tour
1972 The Irish Imagination, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington
Exhibition by Irish Painters, Galerie Braun, Paris
From Yeats to Ballagh, Kusthalle Lund
The Gordon Lamberg Collection, Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, Dublin
Paintings by Irish Artists, Killarney
1976 Irish Art 1900–1950, Cork Rosc 1976, Crawford Municipal Gallery, Cork
The Gordon Lamberg Collection of Contemporary Art, Ulster Museum, Belfast
1978 Dublin Arts Festival
1979 Contemporary Irish Art, Insurance Corporation of Ireland, Dublin
1980 The Delighted Eye, Arts Councils' Exhibition, London and Irish Tour
Irish Art 1943–73, Cork Rosc 1980, Crawford Municipal Gallery, Cork and Ulster Museum, Belfast
The College Gallery 21st Anniversary Retrospective Exhibition, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin
The Collection of Pat and Antoinette Murphy, Belltable Gallery, Limerick


Works in Collections[edit]

  • Irish National Gallery
    • Liffey Quaysides, 1957-8[4]
  • Irish Arts Council:
    • Rising Swan
    • Small Holding on the Side of a Mountain
    • Children Playing [3]
    • Predator Bird
    • Atlantic Window
    • Rain on the Moon [4]
    • Oak Tree
  • Arts Council of Northern Ireland [5]
  • AIB Collection[4][8]
    • Travelling Tinkers, 1968
    • A Place with Stones, 1979
    • Table with Exotic Fruit, 1976
  • Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) Collection
    • Landscape with Declining Sun (1984)
    • The Wood Pigeon's Nest (1974)
    • Field of Old Stones (1978)
    • Bird Against the Window (1963)
    • Headland (1980)
    • Landscape with Church (1956)
  • Bank of Ireland Collection[4]
    • Pigeon House (mouth of the Liffey), 1978
    • Trout Rising, 1978

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Patrick Collins" by Frances Ruane, OCLC 10458687, 1982
  2. ^ "A Day in the Life of Patrick Collins" by Elgy Gillespie, Irish Times, 15 August 1980
  3. ^ Who's Who in Irish Visual Art
  4. ^ a b c d e Irish Arts Review Spring 2009: "Patrick Collins: A Modern Celt", Brian Fallon [1]
  5. ^ "Patrick Collins, Through Sligo Eyes", RTÉ TV Program, 10 March 2009
  6. ^ Aosdána member list, Patrick Collins
  7. ^ "Last Daylight" Exhibition catalog, Centenary Exhibition 2011 in the RHA Dublin [2]
  8. ^ The AIB Collection in Context: Over a Century of Irish Art