Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Crawford Art Gallery acquires first Harry Clarke artwork in 99 years

By #Art
Repro Free Provision Crawford Art Gallery director Mary McCarthy and Crawford Art Gallery registrar Jean O’Donovan welcome 'The Colloquy of Monos and Una' by Harry Clarke to the National Collection. The artwork was purchased at auction from private seller in December 2023 and is the first Clarke artwork to join the Crawford collection in 99 years. Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Crawford Art Gallery is delighted to announce a beautiful new addition to their ever-popular Harry Clarke collection, just in time for the festive season.

Bought at auction from a private seller for the National Collection, The Colloquy of Monos and Una is a colour plate illustration for a 1923 edition of Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination.

The public can view the latest addition in Crawford Art Gallery in Cork City from noon on Friday, 15 December.

The richly coloured pencil, ink and watercolour work depicts lovers Monos and Una reunited in the afterlife, as in Poe’s classic tale: art deco influences can be seen in the elaborate clothing of the figures, while Clarke’s distinctive emphasis on eyes and elongated hands is evident.

The Colloquy of Monos and Una is the first Harry Clarke acquisition for Crawford Art Gallery since 1924, when two other illustrations from the same series, The Fall of the House of Usher and Marie Rogêt, were purchased alongside over 20 other pieces by Clarke.

The new acquisition brings to 27 the number of Clarke artworks in Crawford Art Gallery’s collection, including the three earliest examples of his stained glass work, which were conserved in 2023 with support from the Heritage Council.

Crawford Art Gallery has an annual winter exhibition of their Clarke works that is a firm favourite with gallery-goers. The Colloquy of Monos and Una will be reunited with its studio companions after 99 years this Christmas when it goes on display in Crawford Art Gallery’s current exhibition, HARRY CLARKE: Bad Romance.

Crawford Art Gallery continues to build its collection with acquisitions of contemporary and historical works of significance.

We are truly delighted to have secured this exceptional work for the National Collection at Crawford Art Gallery and furthermore to be able to put it on display immediately. The work is in exceptional condition. We are very grateful to Minister Catherine Martin and colleagues in the Department of TCAGSM for their full support for this magical work by an exceptional artist.

Crawford Art Gallery director Mary McCarthy

The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, the Gaeltacht, Sports and Media provided financial support for the purchase of the artwork.

The Crawford acquisition is the second Harry Clarke piece to be brought into public ownership in recent weeks with the National Gallery purchasing a rare Clarke stained glass piece, Titania Enchanting Bottom (1922) last week. It needs conservation work and will go on public display in Dublin in the New Year.

HARRY CLARKE: Bad Romance is open to the public until Sunday, 18 February 2024. Christmas opening hours are as normal, except 25 and 26 December, and 1 January.


I'm a freelance content creator, author, and journalist who has a strong desire to share interesting content about Irish people and things about Ireland at home and abroad. I am constantly curious.

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