independent

Saturday 24 June 2017

Unique display by local sculptor

Francis Lee Gargan, Sheila Crehan and Marie Meade with one of John Cassidy's works at the launch in the Coyningham Arms Hotel. Picture: Jimmy Weldon
Francis Lee Gargan, Sheila Crehan and Marie Meade with one of John Cassidy's works at the launch in the Coyningham Arms Hotel. Picture: Jimmy Weldon

The collection of sculptures, paintings and photographs of works by Cassidy (1860 - 1939) is the first public exhibition of the artists work ever displayed in Ireland. Its a massive undertaking, but over the past two years preparation we have received support from galleries, colleges, private collectors, historians and local people, said Marie Meade.A

A UNIQUE exhibition and information weekend on Slane sculptor John Cassidy, will take place in The Conyngham Arms Hotel, Slane, from October 15 - 17, and should lift the veil of anonymity from the man known as ‘The Manchester Sculptor’..

The collection of sculptures, paintings and photographs of works by Cassidy (1860 - 1939) is the first public exhibition of the artist’s work ever displayed in Ireland.

‘It’s a massive undertaking, but over the past two years preparation we have received support from galleries, colleges, private collectors, historians and local people,’ said Marie Meade.

A booklet detailing Cassidy’s life and works will be published in conjunction with the exhibition. ‘We complied so much information about this all-round artist that we just had to publish a book about him - the first one in existence,’ said Frances Lee Gargan.

The son of a farmer from Littlewood, Slane, Cassidy served his apprenticeship as a bar man in The White Horse Hotel (Westcourt), Drogheda, but spent much of his free time sketching and painting. He attended classes with artist Laurence Fagan of Trinity Street, before securing the patronage of a local merchant, Mr Davis, who paid for the young Cassidy to attend art classes in Dublin. Cassidy gained a scholarship to study in Milan and two years later he moved to Manchester where he spent the rest of his life.

His public works can be found at various sites around the city, including war memorials. His best known wrok in Ireland is a full-length figure of Queen Victoria in Belfast.

The exhibition was the brainchild of Slane Archaeological & Historical Society. A sub-committee comprising Sheila Crehan, Marie Meade, Frances Lee Gargan, Nicholas Wall, Michael Leahy and Noel Foley, a grand-nephew of Cassidy, was set up to carry out research. This exhibition is the culmination of their work.

The exhibition will be opened by Professor John Turpin (NCAD) at 7.30pm on Friday October 15 with art collector Austin Green, Drogheda, giving a talk on John Cassidy’s early life.

The exhibition includes two porcelain sculptures by Cassidy on loan from the owners, two of his early paintings, ‘The Bathe House’ and ‘A Street Scene in Drogheda’ on loan from Drogheda Borough Council, and over 30 photographs of his public sculptures.

Meath sculptor Betty Newman Maguire will give a lecture at 3.30 on ‘The Role of the Artist in Today’s Society’. A commemorative Mass for John Cassidy will be celebrated in Slane church at 11am on Sunday 17. The exhibition will remain open to the public all weekend and will be officially closed on Sunday at 8pm by Elisabeth Nicolson from Scotland, a private collector.



All are welcome to attend all or some of the events. Admission including catalogue is E5.





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