THE SOCIETY OF IRISH ARTISTS

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

At a meeting of artists held in Dublin on 11th November, 1842, the Society of Irish Artists was established for the protection of the interests of their profession, for the encouragement of Irish Art, and "for the avowed and determined purpose of refuting the aspersions cast upon Irish artists by English critics." While the exhibition of the Royal Hibernian Academy included the works of both English and Irish artists, those of the new society were to be confined exclusively to works by Irish artists resident in Ireland. The members of the Society were—William Brocas, President; W. Deane Butler, architect, Vice-President; Edward Hayes, Treasurer; Michael Angelo Hayes, Secretary; Samuel F. Brocas, Henry Brocas, Patrick Byrne, architect, William Howis and W. G. Wall, a not very imposing array. The first exhibition was opened in the Royal Irish Institution in College Street in April, 1843. One hundred and forty works were shown, contributed by the members of the Society and by other artists, including Major H. S. Davis, an honorary member, John Tracey, J. H. Burgess, John Connell, William Gillard, George Atkinson, Terence Farrell and others. William Brocas was succeeded as President in 1845 by W. Deane Butler, who held the post until 1847, when he was succeeded by W. G. Wall. The last exhibition was held in 1847, and the Society came to an end in 1849.

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