Scene in Connemara  Oil on canvas. 1828. Photo by Frank Poole.  James Arthur O'Connor Copyright Frank Poole 2012

Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum

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Overview

The world’s largest collection of Great Hunger-related art

Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University investigates the Famine and its impact through art. The museum interprets the Famine visually, allowing artists — both those contemporaneous with the Great Hunger and those working today — to explore the impact of the loss of life, the leeching of the land, and the erosions of language and culture. Through its display of outstanding historical and contemporary images, layers of history are peeled back, to uncover aspects of the Famine indecipherable by other means.

Interior of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University. Photographer Robert Benson.

Images summon the past, and can sometimes be a form of evidence that events written about took place. But they do more. 

The artwork in the museum, by some of the most eminent Irish and Irish-American artists of the past 170 years, such as Daniel Macdonald, James Mahony, Lilian Davidson, Margaret Allen, Howard Helmick, James Brenan, Paul Henry, Jack B. Yeats, William Crozier, Hughie O’Donoghue, Brian Maguire, Micheal Farrell, Glenna Goodacre, Rowan Gillespie, John Behan and Alanna O’Kelly, fulfill one of the obligations of memory — they honor the dead.

“The Irish Famine of 1845 to 1852 was the greatest social calamity, in terms of morality and suffering, that Ireland has ever experienced.”
Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland

Top image: Scene in Connemara, James Arthur O’Connor

Painting

Painting entitled "Black '47" by Micheal Farrell

Black '47

Micheal Farrell

Featured Exhibition

Current Exhibtion


Making America: The Irish in the Civil War Era

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A Battle Two Miles West of Atlanta (detail)

John Francis Edward Hillen

April 12, 2018 to March 17, 2019

At the outbreak of the Civil War, America was home to approximately 1.6 million people of Irish birth, most refugees from the Famine. At least 150,000 Irishmen served in the Union forces, and 20,000 with the Confederates. More Civil War generals came out of Ireland than any other foreign country. Making America: The Irish in the Civil War Era highlights the significant role that the Irish played in America’s struggle to define itself as a nation.

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