Norah McGuinness

CommentaryNotes

Life
1903-1980; b. Derry, dg. coal merchant and ship-owner; ed. National College of Art, Dublin, and Chelsea Polytechnic; m. Geoffrey Phibbs (later Taylor), divorced 1929; studied under André Lhote, in Paris; exhibited in Sullivan and Reinhardt Galleries, New York, and designed windows for NY department stores; president of Living Art Exhibition, 1944-72; RHA, 1957; ill. books for Yeats; Abbey and Peacock stage designs; also designed Grafton St. windows; 1950 Venice Biennale, with Nano Reid; widely travelled; retrospective in Douglas Hyde Gallery, TCD; d. November 1980.

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Commentary
Richard Murphy, The Kick (Granta 2002): ‘Geoffrey [Taylor] handed it [Kavanagh’s The Great Hunger] to me with a devil may care stab of his deep blue eyes under long dark eyebrows, the right brow drooping in self-mockery over the hollow of a sunken temple, the left brown curving upwards like a miniature kris, worn as an ornament of playful, cut-throat wit. he may have looked “satanic” to Frank O’Connor, when they worked together at the Carnegie Library in Wicklow during the 1920s, but to us in 1955 he seemed more of a faun than a devil.’ (p.166; see further under Geoffrey Taylor, infra.)

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Notes
Mirror, mirror: A mirror, formerly the property of Norah McGuinness and give by her to Sybil le Brocquy, is featured in a picture entitled ’Remembering the Future’ by Bruce Stewart which served as the cover of an issue of the Irish Review.

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