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Monday 4 December 2023 Dublin: 3°C

New exhibitions capture Ireland's 1930s rural landscapes and 1970s bustling city life

The exhibitions highlight the work of American artist Helen Hooker O’Malley.

helen2 Turf Cutting Competition, Bog of Allen, 1937

THE NATIONAL LIBRARY and Gallery of Photography have launched complimentary exhibitions of the work of artist Helen Hooker O’Malley.

An American by birth, Ireland became Helen’s home following her marriage in 1935 to the Irish writer and revolutionary, Ernie O’Malley. 

Carrowmore Races, Co. Mayo 1938

Her work captures her decades-long love affair with the landscape – she lived in Mayo for many years – history, and people of Ireland, as well as her travels to places like Russia and the Far East as a young woman.

At the Gallery of Photography, her early work will be presented, showing her observations of Irish rural life and portraits of her friends. 

The National Photographic Archive will have photographs from the 1970s including Irish landmarks such as Croagh Patrick, portraits of Helen’s artistic circle – like Paddy Moloney and Mary Lavin – and images of everyday life in 1970s Dublin.

The exhibition, A Modern Eye, continues at the Gallery of Photography until 1 September and at the National Photographic Archive until 2 November. 

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