Leading Galway artists and curators are among those campaigning for the immediate reopening of the Great Hunger Museum of Ireland in Connecticut, US, which closed in 2020 and faces permanent closure.
The museum, which opened at Quinnipiac University in 2012, houses the world’s largest exhibition of art relating to the Great Famine, which devastated Ireland in the mid-19th century. The unique collection includes works by leading contemporary Irish and Irish-American artists, as well as period paintings by key 19th-century Irish figures, including Jack B Yeats.
John Behan, Dorothy Cross, Joe Hogan, Pádraic Reaney, Dean Kelly and Kieran Tuohy, all based in Galway, are among the contemporary artists whose work is in the museum.
The exhibition in Quinnipiac was organized by the Kenny Gallery in Galway City and Kennys coordinated this petition to reopen it. It was signed by these artists and others, including Hughie O’Donoghue, Alanna O’Kelly, Robert Ballagh John Coll, Rowan Gillespie and Tracy Sweeney, all of whom are in the collection.
The Quinnipiac Great Hunger Museum closed in early 2020 under Covid-19 restrictions – but university authorities have not reopened it since. This is because they plan to close the institution and move its collection.
The first sign of trouble came in 2019 when Quinnipiac University said it was reassessing funding for the museum due to cost-cutting plans. He gave the establishment until June 2020 to become autonomous. Covid paid for that.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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