Norah McGuinness HRHA

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Artist Bio

Norah McGuinness HRHA

Norah McGuinness was a landscape painter, designer and illustrator born in Derry. In spite of disapproval from her family, she attended the Dublin Metropolitan school of Art where she won a scholarship. In 1924, she was awarded a medal for her drawings entered in the Tailteann competition after which she held her first exhibition at the Royal Hibernian Academy. McGuinness continued her education at the Chelsea Polytechnic for several months. A founding member of the Irish Exhibition of Living Art, she also served as president from 1944 to 1971.

Whilst in London, McGuinness was involved with Lucy Wertheim's 'Twenties Group' and the avant-garde London Group. From 1937-39 she lived in New York, where she exhibited work, created illustrations for Harper’s Bazaar, and designed windows for Altman’s department store. She returned to Ireland in 1939, settling in Dublin and focusing on her painting. Regarding McGuinness’s exhibition at the Victor Waddington Gallery in 1949, the Dublin Magazine said, ‘at its best the work of Norah McGuinness is forthright, spontaneous and dramatic...'

In 1968, a retrospective exhibition was held at Trinity College Dublin displaying over 100 pieces of McGuinness’ work.  She is represented in the National Gallery of Ireland, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Hugh Lane Gallery, Ulster Museum and the Crawford Gallery.

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