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Cork: Irish Painting in the 19th Century

“IRISH ART IN THE 19th century,” an exhibition of paintings, sculpture, medals, photographs, and applied arts at Cork, Ireland, from October 31st through December 29th, is a beautifully presented first glimpse at an (undeservedly) obscure period and a fascinating overview of the Irish contribution to international modernism. Visually most striking was the richness of painting that Irish artists produced. There were no special innovators, but this exhibition served to remind us that quality operates separately from style. Comparable in its own way to the recent German 19th-century show at Yale, the Cork exhibition—well-selected and superbly hung—forces us to look at Irish art in a new light.

Although this was exploratory and expository in contrast to the more esthetic, structured Yale show (that is, it undoubtedly included some artists purely for historical interest), there were some

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