Revolution 1916 Exhibition

Leabhar na h-Aiseirghe (Book of the Rising) Ambassador Theatre, Dublin

Revolution 1916 was a centenary exhibition at the Ambassador Theatre in Parnell Square, Dublin telling the story of the 1916 Rising, from the buildup through its effect on the subsequent years. 

Art O’Murnaghan was Ireland’s only national scribe and a key member of the Celtic Revivalist movement of the late 19th and early 20th century. He was the grandfather of renowned Irish architect Walter Figgis and great grandfather of designer and photographer Cormac Figgis.

Leabhar na h-Aiseirghe, or Book of the Rising, is an unfinished Celtic Revival manuscript intended to be a memorial for those who died in the Irish struggle for independence in 1916. The twenty six pages seen throughout this exhibition were completed between 1924 and 1951. The original hand mixed watercolours on vellum are on display in the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks. Originals 9 1/4” x 11 1/2” 

Art O’Murnaghan was described as a “soul of gentleness, even temper and tolerance.” He was a man of many parts—a member of the Gaelic League, designing their poplin badges until 1916; designer of badges and posters for the Oireachtas beginning with the very first in 1902; a friend of Arthur Griffith and Douglas Hyde; an artist, chemist, librarian, musician, composer, actor, stage manager of the Gate Theatre, writer, mystic, archaeologist and author of fourteen volumes on Irish Archaeology, deciphering and lecturing on New Grange in Ireland and France. 

Art was a self taught artist, becoming an expert in illumination and calligraphy. 

The explanatory keys below the vellums are from the artist’s notes and edited by Beverly Figgis. 

Design and English language version proofreading and copy editing by Cormac Figgis. 
Wallboard dimensions: 36" x 58"

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