Seumas Murphy

CriticismCommentary

Life
1907-1975; b. Greenhill, nr. Mallow, Co. Cork; ed. St Patrick’s National School, Cork, with Daniel Corkery among his teachers; School of Art, Cork, 1914; apprentice stone-mason, 1915; Gibson Bequest, 1931, taking him to Paris; studied there under Andrew O’Connor, Academie Colo Rossi; exhibited in Cork, 1933; Professor of Sculptor, RHA; a friend of the Tailor (Timothy Buckley q.v. - of The Tailor and Anstey); produced busts of Ó Conaire; Hyde; Lemass; McQuaid; Ó Cadhain; Collins; Ó Riada, Frank O’Connor, and others; a celebrated autobiography, Stone Mad (1950); awarded LLD NUI, 1969; d. 2 Oct., Cork. DIL DIH

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Works

  • Stone Mad (Dublin: Golden Eagle Books n.d. [1949 or 1950]), x, 168pp., ill [by Fergus O'Ryan]; Do. [rev. edn.] (London: Routledge, Kegan & Paul 1966), x, 229pp., hb., ill. [by William Harrington with initial letters by the author]; Do. [another edn.] (1988); Do. [another edn.] (Belfast: Blackstaff 1997), x, 229pp.; and Do. (Cork: Collins Press 2005, 2007), 240pp., ill. [Harrington & author].

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Criticism
Francis Hyland & Bébhinn Marten, Seamus Murphy 1907-1975: The Work of Seamus Murphy, Sculptor [Exhib. Cat.] (Dublin: Douglas Hyde Gallery 1982), 79pp.

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Commentary
Louis de Paor on “Adhlacadh mo Mhathar” by Seán Ó Riordain, in Irish University Review [Special Poetry Issue] (Sept. 2009) - writes: ‘Ó Riordain applauds Seamus Murphy’s Stone Mad for achieving a proper consonance  between the language of his autobiography and its particular subject matter: “Ar thugais an t-ionracas fe ndeara? Clochachas. Gortaigh focal ar bith san leabhar agus tiocfaidh clochfhuil as / Did you see the integrity? Cut any word in the book and stone-blood will flow from it”).’ (Citing Séamus Ó Coigligh, ‘Shaun agus Shem’, in An Duine is Dual: Aistí ar Shéan Ó Riordáin, edited by Eoghan Ó hAnluain (Baile Atha Cliath: An Clóchomhar, 1980, pp.28-60; p.42.)

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References
Frank O’Connor, Book of Ireland (London: Collins 1959) contains a passage on tombstones from Stone Mad (p.295) in which there is an apposite a quotation from “the Tailor” viz., Tim Buckley [supra].

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