MORGAN, JANE

(b. 1832, d. 1899)

Painter and Sculptor

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Was daughter of James Morgan, of Prospect, Carrigrohane, Co. Cork, and was born in 1832. She received her first lessons in drawing in 1851 from R. R. Scanlan, head master in the Cork School of Art, and afterwards went to Dublin, where she studied modelling under J. R. Kirk. She was an earnest student of both painting and sculpture, and in 1860 won a prize with her life-size figure of "Nourmahal," in the Taylor competition in Dublin. A "Bust of a Lady" and a "Child and Bird," both in marble, by her, were in the Dublin Exhibition of 1865. Accompanied by her sister Maria she went to Rome in 1865, where, among other works, she did an ideal bust illustrative of Moore's "Rich and Rare."

After a year or twos stay she settled in America, where she practised as an artist with some success. Her sister Maria was for many years on the staff of the "New York Herald," and died in 1892 in her sixty-fourth year. Both sisters were of somewhat singular and eccentric character. They designed and built for themselves an extraordinary house at Livingston, Staten Island, where they lived alone, occupying the upper floor only, to which they gained access by a ladder. The house was solidly built with elaborate precautions against burglars and other unwelcome visitors. Nevertheless it was entered and robbed in 1898. Miss Morgan decorated the walls and ceilings with carving and inlaid panelling, which took her over five years of constant labour. She died in the house of diphtheria on 4th April, 1899. Her property was left to her nephew, Mr. Hodder, who sold all the pictures and woodwork in the house in Staten Island to Colonel A. Hickman Morgan. Colonel Morgan removed them to his house, Hollybrook, near Skibbereen, Co. Cork, where he had rooms specially built for the decorative panelling and woodwork.

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