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Popular photo exhibition has proved a hit with nostalgia fans

Wednesday, 1st January, 2020 1:00pm
Popular photo exhibition has  proved a hit with nostalgia fans

Catherine Heaney of the National Museum of Ireland board, and Audrey Whitty, head of collections and learning, pictured at the launch of Photographing Ireland.

Popular photo exhibition has  proved a hit with nostalgia fans

Catherine Heaney of the National Museum of Ireland board, and Audrey Whitty, head of collections and learning, pictured at the launch of Photographing Ireland.

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A PHOTO exhibition featuring exceptional images of Dublin in the 1950s by the professional photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson and Dorothea Lange has proved a hit with nostalgia fans.

‘Ireland in Focus: Photographing Ireland in the 1950s’ is the largest exhibition of images by the artists to be displayed in Ireland.

As many of the images  have never been publicly exhibited before, it has proved a hit with nostalgia fans since it opened last November at the National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History, in Collins Barracks.

Numerous images were captured in various locations across Dublin, including St Stephen’s Green and Custom House. 

The exhibition explores the way in which three photographers, from France and North America, saw and portrayed Ireland through the people they photographed and the places they visited, during what is generally regarded as one of the more challenging decades in twentieth-century Ireland.

The exhibition features 50 images by Henri Cartier-Bresson, considered the most important photographer of the 20th century, of which 30 have never been exhibited previously.

His photographs were shot in Dublin, Kildare, Westmeath, Galway, Kerry, Cork, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Waterford, and Wexford in 1952 and 1962.

There are also 20 images by renowned American photographer Dorothea Lange, taken in Dublin and Co Clare in 1954, and 30 by Robert Cresswell, the Paris-based American anthropologist, who spent over a year living in Kinvara, Co Galway in 1955 and 1956, with return visits in 1957 and 1958.

The photographs featured in the exhibition give a rare insight into everyday life in 1950s rural Ireland.

Families working together shearing sheep and killing the pig, Corpus Christi processions and punters at the Racecourse are among the scenes depicted. 

President of Ireland Michael D Higgins formally opened the exhibition with members of the Brogan family from Kinvara, Co Galway whose photograph was taken by Robert Cresswell in 1955-1956 and forms part of the exhibition.

Henri Cartier-Bresson was considered the most important photographer of the 20th century. A pioneer of street photography and photojournalism, he was on assignment from Harper's Bazaar magazine when he visited Dublin in June 1952. He returned later for a holiday in October 1962 and travelled throughout the country during both visits.

His images include landscapes, street scenes, portraits and public events, and this is the largest number of his images to have been displayed in Ireland. 

Dorothea Lange is a renowned American documentary photographer whose portraits of displaced farmers during the Great Depression greatly influenced later documentary and journalistic photography in the United States.

The major exhibition of important photographs features ‘Dublin. 1952. Garden of St Stephen’.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here