Visual Arts

Melanie le Brocquy

Born in Dublin in 1919, she studied at the National College of Art & Design in Dublin, the École des Beaux-Arts in Geneva, and the Royal Hibernian Academy School of Art. She first showed her sculpture in 1938 at the RHA and was awarded a prize for the best bronze casting at the RHA in 1995. The RHA held a major retrospective of her work in 1999. She contributed to the Exhibition of Living Art (1943, 65, 67, 71) as well as the Oireachtas Art Exhibition (1972-75) and EV+A in Limerick (in 1984), having represented Ireland at the Salzburg Biennale in 1962. Solo exhibitions included the Taylor Galleries, Dublin (86, 91), Austin Desmond Fine Arts, London (1990), the Bell Gallery, Belfast (92, 95). Her numerous awards include two Taylor scholarships (1938 and ’39); the California Gold Medal (1939) and the Claremorris Open Exhibition prize (1991).

Her St Patrick (1941) having been belatedly cast in bronze, was acquired for St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, in 2001, and her edition of four heads of Oscar Wilde are respectively in Trinity College Dublin, the American College Dublin, Magdalen College, Oxford and the Irish Embassy, Washington. Her work is represented at the Municipal Gallery, Dublin, the National Self-Portrait Gallery, Limerick, in the Allied Irish Banks collection, the Aer Rianta collection, St James’ Hospital collection and in many private collections in Ireland, England, America and Canada.

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