Clare Museum managed to slip through the net of County Museum coverage early in the challenge, as it craftily does not have the word “County” in it’s name. I think I may have covered all of these museums in the Republic of Ireland, although given this one slipped through the net, I cannot be sure! I am finding these articles a little less interesting to write, as they are very formulaic now, and in general the sources and variety of information to include is rather limited and repetitive. Although, one of the more interesting things to find out is the collections that are highlighted from each museum. Some are very local events or famous people from the area.
Sarah Mary Fitton is very interesting figure, she is best known for writing a children’s book which was written to promote and educate on Linnean taxonomic schema. Although her sister Elizabeth co-wrote the book with her, Sarah seems to have written most of the book, so I could find very little on her so it would be a stretch to write about her. Although I feel this was an article well worth writing, I am still very anxious of articles being deleted. So far I have not fallen foul of any deletion nominations, but it is always in the back of my mind. As I’ve mentioned before I wonder if this is due to being a female editor, writing about lesser known women in history, and the fact that I am primed to be wary based on all I’ve read about the treatment of women editors and female content. Is it a bit of chicken and egg situation, where I don’t know where the anxiety comes from.
I returned to Carlow with the County Carlow Military Museum, and this was a little more engaging than the County museums. Due to all the military centenaries that are going on, the coverage of the Museum is quite good. I have a soft spot for this museum myself, as it reminds me of my childhood, going to out-of-the-way museums, run by volunteers. There is a very particular smell that goes with these museums, usually a mixture of the old building these collections are inevitably housed in and a mix of chemicals that may have been used to protect the objects at some point, like moth balls, mixed with a bit of dust. As this museum is in an old church, it has the history, smell and atmosphere that comes with that sort of building too. I’m itching to take a photo when I’m down home soon. Reading up on the museum has given me yet another red link to fill August Weckbecker, who created some of the stained glass in the church in question, and was a papal artist. Makes me think that I could map my #100wikidays visually to show the connections between the articles to see if any patterns emerge.
Perhaps the idea of stained glass was in the back of my head, when I ended up writing up Ethel Rhind. I had a passing knowledge of stained glass studio An Túr Gloine from reading about other artists such as Harry Clarke, so I found it really fascinating to read more about artists who added so much to the art form in the early to mid 20th century. If I had a car, I would have a whole list of buildings to visit on day trips, as seeing some of the photographs of these windows and mosaics known as opus sectile. This mosaic form sounds so engaging, as it incorporates shells, pieces of glass, and pottery, rather than just mosaic tiles.
Following on from this focus on stained glass artistry, Catherine Amelia O’Brien was next. Also associated with the same studio, O’Brien was known for her naive style which drew from old Irish art forms such as the Book Durrow. I even found an accidental Carlow connection, as she designed some windows for a church in County Carlow! Might be an interesting link to put into this visualisation… Unsurprisingly O’Brien has led me to two more red links, Michael Healy and Patrick Pollen. I have found that much like the botanical artists, finding books on these subjects is a little hard, as the books tend to be such short runs that they are in special or reserve collections. I might have to push the boat out and look into these books if I want to pursue some of the more obscure figures on my list.