September Talk: ‘Balbriggan Stockings, Old Masters and the Bells of Howth: North County Dublin contributions to the 19th century Art & Industry Exhibitions.’ Cora McDonagh

Balbriggan & District Historical Society presents Cora Mc Donagh’s talk on ‘Balbriggan Stockings, Old Masters and the Bells of Howth: North County Dublin contributions to the nineteenth century Art & Industry Exhibitions.’   27th September 2023 at 8pm Bracken Court Hotel.  Admission €5, Members free. All Welcome

Cora is a local resident and PhD student at Maynooth University and her research involves some of the exhibitions and loans that she will be discussing at her talk. She will explore Balbriggan’s involvement with the exhibitions that took place in the nineteenth century and into the early twentieth century. She will look at the contributions from the stocking manufacturers especially those at the 1853 Great Industrial Exhibition held in Dublin where Smyth & Co, Glennys, Appleyard and others had stands and over one million people visited this exhibition. Later exhibitions saw other industries at the exhibitions including The Balbriggan Salt Works Co. and the Drogheda Linen Company, Balbriggan.

Other districts in North County Dublin also provided generous loans to the exhibitions especially the Old Masters exhibitions and later the Art & Industry exhibitions. There were contributions from the Cobbes of Newbridge House, Donabate, the Lord Talbots de Malahide, the Viscount Gormanston (the address for Gormanston Castle during this time was given as Balbriggan, Co. Dublin) and many more. Cora will also explain how these loans were of benefit to the artists, the artisans and others during the nineteenth century.

During the final part of the talk Cora will have a brief look at the other exhibitions including the Flower Shows and Horticultural Exhibitions during the early twentieth century that took place at Balbriggan, Malahide, Skerries and Rush. Who knows, you might see the name of an ancestor listed amongst the prizewinners!

Cora Mc Donagh is a PhD candidate at Maynooth University under the supervision of Professor Terence Dooley and Dr Alison FitzGerald. Her thesis ‘Irish Country House art collections, display and dispersal: A social study of Irish loan exhibitions and auctions, 1798-1916’ combines both Irish social history with history of art. Cora has recently been appointed project researcher for the RDS Library & Archives for a stand-alone project in partnership with The Historical Studies Committee of the Royal Irish Academy to mark the 170th anniversary of the Dublin Great Industrial Exhibition of 1853.

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