Water Colour Society of Ireland

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Water Colour Society of Ireland (WCSI) is a watercolour society in Ireland, founded in 1870. The Society held its first exhibition in the Courthouse, Lismore, County Waterford in May 1871.[1]


The Water Colour Society of Ireland (WCSI) was founded in 1870 as the Amateur Drawing Society by an informal group of six well-connected women from County Waterford, Baroness Pauline Prochazka, Miss Harriet Keane, Miss Frances Keane, Miss Henrietta Phipps, Miss Fanny Currey and Miss Fanny Musgrave.[2][3][4] Eight years after its founding, the organisation briefly became the "Irish Fine Art Society" before settling to its current name in 1888.[5] The stated objective of the Society is "to promote and develop nationally the use and appreciation of watercolour and associated media among artists, students and the general public."[6]


Important past members include Nathaniel Hone RHA, Lady Butler – Elizabeth Thompson, Sir Frederick William Burton, Rose Maynard Barton, Mildred Anne Butler, Percy French, Evie Hone, Walter Osborne RHA, Sarah Purser RHA, Norah McGuinness, Harry Clarke, Gerald Dillon, Letitia Hamilton, Paul Henry, Evie Hone, Mainie Jellett, Harry Kernoff, Frank McKelvey, Sir William Orpen, Nano Reid, ÆGeorge William Russell, Gladys Wynne, Jack B. Yeats, and Anne Yeats. Other members included Tom Nisbet RHA, Brigid Ganley HRHA, Maurice McGonigal PRHA, Kitty Wilmer O'Brien PRHA, Niccola Carraciola RHA, Desmond Carrick RHA, William Carron ARHA, John Coyle RHA, Chris Dearden ARUA, James Nolan RHA, Brett McEntagart RHA, James Hanley RHA, Neil Shawcross RUA, Tom Ryan PPRHA, as well as Lady Ardilaun, Bingham McGuinness, Mainie Jellett, Fr Jack Hanlon, Lilian Davidson, May Guinness, Flora Mitchell, Bea Orpen, George Campbell, Helen Sophia O'Hara, Sean O'Connor, Richard Caulfield Orpen, Patrick Cahill, Brid Clarke, Berthold Dunne, Olivia Hayes, John Keating, Patricia Jorgensen, Grania Langrishe, Nancy Larchet, Anthony Loughran, Fergal MacCabe, Terence O'Connell, Tom Roche, Susan Sex, and Vincent Lambe.[3][7][8][9][10]


The society held the first exhibition in 1871 at the courthouse in Lismore, County Waterford, and went on to exhibit at Clonmel, Carlow, and finally in 1891 the society begun an annual Spring Exhibition at Molesworth Hall, Dublin.[2][11] The national collection for the society which consists of painting by 122 members was founded in 1993, and is housed at the Concert Hall of the University of Limerick.[7][12] In 2004 the National Gallery held an exhibition, 150: The Watercolour Society of Ireland's Exhibitions.[8] In 2009, the university published an illustrated book, The Silent Companion – An illustrated History of The Water Colour Society of Ireland.[13] Almost 25,000 works by 1,200 artists are listed in the societies Exhibition List 1872–1994 (1994).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "University of Limerick", watercoloursocietyofireland.ie
  2. ^ a b (McCormack 2001)
  3. ^ a b c "Water Colour Society of Ireland, A Brief History", ul.ie
  4. ^ MacNally, Niamh. "A Subtle Art" (PDF). Irish Arts Review. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 July 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Delicate art of laying on washes", independent.ie
  6. ^ "Water Colour Society of Ireland", watercoloursocietyofireland.ie
  7. ^ a b "A Galaxy of Geniuses", watercoloursocietyofireland.ie
  8. ^ a b "Ireland's Largest watercolours event to go on show – 155th Exhibition of Water Colour Society", dlrcoco.ie
  9. ^ "Architects to Show at Ireland's Largest Watercolours Event-156th Exhibition of Water Colour Society", architecturenow.ie
  10. ^ "Some facts about the Society", watercoloursocietyofireland.ie
  11. ^ "University of Limerick Watercolour Society Collection", discoverireland.com
  12. ^ (Butler 2010)


Further reading[edit]

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