One of the perks of my internship is being able to sneak into the store every now and then at take a peek at the wonderful works on the racks.
I am particularly excited as Communicating with Prisoners (1924), by Jack B. Yeats, has made it to the short-list of ten paintings nominated for the title of 'Ireland's Favourite Painting'. This work is from the Niland Collection, held in The Model gallery. It is the only regional painting that has made it to the shortlist.
Jack, brother of the poet William, is one of Ireland’s best loved painters of the twentieth-century and this painting is one of a number of iconic scenes he painted during the civil war.
Writing of the context of Jack Yeats' painting, Communicating with Prisoners, Thomas MacGreevy declares ". . . they [Irish women] did everything except get executed. Many of them gave all they had, they suffered, they fought, they went to gaol, they hunger-struck." (Source)
In 1914, Cumann na mBan was founded as an independent Irish female republican paramilitary organisation. MacGreevy elaborates: "There was a certain progressive, leftist strain in the Irish nationalist movement, which also had ties to Irish feminism and the suffragist movement. It is true that the participation of Irish women in political affairs remained for many years sporadic. Nevertheless, they continued to perform, even if only in limited numbers, similar roles to men."
You can cast your vote for Ireland's Favourite Painting here!