Sunday 22 October 2017

Class of her own: artist's wife overdue for acclaim

Margaret Clarke painted this image of her daughter Ann circa 1924. Photo © National Gallery of Ireland
Margaret Clarke painted this image of her daughter Ann circa 1924. Photo © National Gallery of Ireland
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

An exhibition of the work of Margaret Clarke, the wife of renowned stained-glass artist Harry Clarke, is due to go on display at National Gallery of Ireland this month.

Born in 1888, Margaret was a pupil of celebrated war artist William Orpen, who painted on the Western Front. Orpen considered Margaret one of his most talented students.

A sought-after portraitist, she was commissioned to produce portraits of president Éamon de Valera, archbishop McQuaid, Seán Keating, and Lennox Robinson.

Despite Margaret's skill and ambition, her reputation has been overshadowed by her husband.

This exhibition, 'Margaret Clarke: An Independent Spirit', aims to rectify this.

Irish Independent

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