An Unbiased Eye, Modern and contemporary art from Trinity College Dublin since 1959

George Dawson

19 Nov, 2010 - 19 Dec, 2010

Trinity College is currently celebrating 50 years of visual arts initiatives, in particular, the College Gallery Picture Hire scheme, founded during the academic year 1959-60 and still running today. The scheme allows students and staff with rooms and offices on campus to engage with art during their normal daily routines. Following the hugely successful collaborative exhibition, ‘Holding Together’, at the Douglas Hyde Gallery, the celebrations now move to the Royal Hibernian Academy where the focus is expanded to assess the Trinity College modern art collection for its Irish and international artistic content, within the context of major international artistic movements since the 1950s. The accompanying commemorative publication complements the exhibition by offering an insight into the generations of people and personalities that have shaped the collection, inspired by George Dawson, founder of the picture hire scheme and the driving force behind many of the major visual arts initiatives at Trinity.
Selected by Catherine Giltrap, Curator of the Trinity College Art Collections, the exhibition comprises over 35 works inviting the viewer on a journey through Cubism, Abstract Expressionism, and Minimalism, to Op, Pop, Conceptual, and Installation art, right up to the influence of digital technology on visual arts practice. Artists represented include Nevill Johnson, Pablo Picasso, Henry Moore, Gerard Dillon, William Scott, Roy Lichtenstein, Camille Souter, Victor Vasarely, Louis Le Brocquy, Brian O’Doherty (Patrick Ireland), Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Ballagh, Richard Gorman, and Clare Langan. Woven through the selection is a narrative recounting how the modern art collection at Trinity College was formed, by whom, and why. Visitors to the exhibition are encouraged to continue their experience by taking an interactive walking tour through the nearby Trinity College campus which serves as the University’s living exhibition space and features works by Arnaldo Pomodoro, Alexander Calder, Patrick Scott, Anne Madden, Barrie Cooke, and Michael Warren, among others.
The exhibition and publication have been generously supported by the alumni through the Trinity College Association and Trust and by Joseph O’Gorman.
Further information is available from
and the Irish Arts Review Winter issue 2010 features a 4-page article by Catherine Giltrap on how George Dawson brought a modern art revolution to Trinity College.
Exhibition Talks series, The Royal Hibernian Academy
Dr. Tony Ryan Gallery and at The Trinity College Dublin campus
Wed. 24th November
1.15-1.45pm: Lunchtime Campus Art tour – meet Arts Building entrance overlooking the café
5.15-6pm: RHA Exhibition Tour. ‘From I to Eye – Sharing a Vision. George Dawson and The Visual Arts at Trinity College’, Catherine Giltrap, Curator of the Trinity College Art Collections
1st December
1.15-1.45pm: Lunchtime Campus Art tour – meet Arts Building entrance overlooking the café
5.15-6pm (tbc): RHA Exhibition Tour. Trinity’s Collection in Context: an emerging collection of modern art in Ireland, Dr. Yvonne Scott, Head of the Department of the History of Art & Director of TRIARC, TCD
8th December
1.15-1.45pm: Lunchtime Campus Art tour – meet Arts Building entrance overlooking the café
5- 5.45pm: RHA Exhibition Tour. ‘George Dawson and the Making of Trinity’s Modern Print Collection’, Dr. Angela Griffith, History of Art Department, TCD
15th December
1.15-1.45pm: Lunchtime Campus Art tour – meet Arts Building entrance overlooking the café
Further information:
Commemorative publication:
George Dawson: An Unbiased Eye. Modern and contemporary art at Trinity College Dublin since 1959. Edited by Catherine Giltrap
Supported by the Trinity College Dublin Association and Trust and by Joseph O’Gorman
ISBN: 978-1-906429-15-7;
Format: 280mm x 220 mm; 128pp;
Paperback with French flaps, thread sewn, Illustrations: 36 colour plates, and
4 generously illustrated essays
The publication is available to purchase from the Royal Hibernian Academy during the exhibition and from The Trinity College Dublin Library Shop, along with other gallery and mainstreet bookshops nationwide. To purchase a copy online, contact Associated Editions
This beautifully illustrated commemorative publication accompanies the exhibition at the Royal Hibernian Academy. The 128-page book recounts and contextualises Trinity College’s significant contribution to the development of modern and contemporary visual arts practice in Ireland, led by former Professor of Genetics, George Dawson (1927-2004). Internationally renowned sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro contributes to the introduction, followed by essays from Catherine Giltrap (Curator of the Trinity College Art Collections), Dr. Yvonne Scott (Director of TRIARC – The Trinity Irish Art Research Centre), and Dr. Angela Griffith (Expert in the history and development of Irish graphic art). The final chapter brings together for the first time, insightful and humorous stories by Trinity College graduates and staff, as well as artists, arts professionals, architects, and friends of George Dawson, recounting 50 years of modern and contemporary visual arts activities at Trinity.
Proceeds from the book will support new acquisitions and conservation to perpetuate opportunities for generations of students, staff, and the visiting public to engage with the visual arts at Trinity College.

Selection of images from the exhibition

  • Date:

    19 Nov, 2010 - 19 Dec, 2010
  • Time:

    Monday – Sunday: 11:00 – 17:00 Wednesday Late Opening: 11.00 – 20.00
  • Price:

  • Info:

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