Western Worlds day at Yeats & the West

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William Butler Yeats, poet, playwright, politician, and Nobel prize-winner for literature, always looked west. The Yeats & the West exhibition at NUI Galway, with rare books, art, music, drama, and film, discovers what the west meant to him, and what this means for us. As part of the Yeats & the West programme, on Friday 27th November the day-long event Western Worlds tells the story of the western cultural revolution that shaped modern Ireland. Featuring talks on W.B.Yeats’s poems, plays, artistic collaborations and love affairs, and featuring his co-conspirators Jack B. Yeats, J.M. Synge, Padraic Pearse and Eva Gore Booth, it includes poetry readings, an exhibition highlights tour, and an exclusive interview with the artist John Behan about current exhibitions of Yeatsian-themed sculptures and drawings. Western Worlds tells a story of going west to find those places, real and imaginative, that change our sense of where and who we are.

Western Worlds: A Day at Yeats & the West

Yeats & the West

Bridge Seminar Room, Hardiman Research Building, NUI Galway

Friday 27th November 2015

Entrance to all events is free.

10.45am Welcome (& Kisses)

Adrian Frazier  Yeats & Maud Gonne: The Meaning of Their Kisses

12pm   Poems

Brian Arkins    W.B.Yeats & G.M. Hopkins

Deirdre Ní Chonghaile  ‘Listening to this rude and beautiful poetry’: J.M. Synge as song collector in the Aran Islands

1pm       Lunch

2pm       Plays                                                                      

Barry Houlihan ‘Suffering Spirits and Remorseful Dead’: Remembrance and Re-enactments in the plays of W.B. Yeats

Ian Walsh The Painted Play: Jack B. Yeats and the Postdramatic Theatre

3pm   Revivals

Mary Harris   Realism, Idealism and the Gaelic Revival

Maureen O’Connor   Some Vague Utopia: Eva Gore-Booth’s The Death of Fionavar (1916)

4pm   Coffee

4.30  Arts

Adrian Paterson with Barry Houlihan  (curators of Yeats & the West) Yeats among the Arts: exhibition highlights tour

(from 5pm in Special Collections)

5.30pm   Poems

David Clare & Deirdre Clare   dramatic readings

6.30pm  Reception

7pm   Bulls

John Behan  The Bull of Sheriff Street in conversation

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Thoor Ballylee in 1965

Fifty years ago, in 1965, on the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of W.B.Yeats, the Kiltartan Society hosted a seminar on the work of W.B. Yeats.

Kiltartan Society

Speakers at this anniversary event included Yeats scholar T.R.Henn, Mary Hanley, and Tadgh Kelly, with the support of Yeats biographer A. Norman Jeffares and future George Yeats biographer Ann Saddlemyer. There were tours with the craftsmen who had originally worked on the tour, and further events in Irish about local poet Antoine O Rafteiri (Anthony Raftery), and musical performances featuring the poet’s daughter-in-law the Irish harpist Grainne Yeats. Seeing the calendar of events the chair of the Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society Senator Fidelma Healy Eames commented: ‘a beautiful leaflet and programme that is a stark reminder of the genius, imagination and depth of intent of our predecessors of 50 years ago’. She went on to suggest that the work and commitment of local people and international communities then and now concerning the tower is ‘inspirational’ and an inheritance for the present Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society to live up to. For more information on how you can help this ongoing work visit here.

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Yeats & the West opens!

Prof. Daniel Carey, Ronnie O’Gorman, Sen. Fidelma Healy Eames, Sen. Susan O’Keeffe, and Dr. Adrian Paterson, at the launch of the ‘Yeats & the West: an exhibition of western worlds’ at Hardiman Research Building, NUI Galway, 13 July 2015.

Prof. Daniel Carey, Ronnie O’Gorman and Sen. Fidelma Healy Eames of the Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society, Sen. Susan O’Keeffe, and Dr. Adrian Paterson, at the launch of the ‘Yeats & the West: an exhibition of western worlds’ at Hardiman Research Building, NUI Galway, 13 July 2015.

Monday 13th June saw the official opening of Yeats and the West: an exhibition of western worlds. Coinciding with the launch of the Galway International Arts festival, the exhibition was opened in style with the help of some very special guests, including the poet Moya Cannon. Yeats and the West logo The exhibition featuring a number of talks and events runs through December 2015 and is free to the public. Members of the Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society joined the celebrations, which included speeches from NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne, Professor Daniel Carey, the curators Barry Houlihan and Adrian Paterson, Senator Susan O’Keeffe, Librarian John Cox, and the special guest Moya Cannon.

Senator Susan O'Keeffe with curator Adrian Paterson

Senator Susan O’Keeffe with curator Adrian Paterson

The exhibition featuring a number of talks and events runs through December 2015 and is free to the public. It highlights the work of Jack B. Yeats, the Yeats sisters, and Lady Gregory in a western context.  Further details here, including particular tributes to the importance of landscape, place, and architecture in Yeats’s work and in the contemporary activity of the Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society. 1978 10th anniversary

Yeats & the West: new NUI Galway exhibition

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William Butler Yeats, poet, playwright, politician, and Nobel prize-winner for literature always looked west. As part of Ireland ’s decade of commemorations and the worldwide Yeats2015 series of cultural events marking his 150th birthday, NUI Galway’s Moore Institute and Hardiman Library presents Yeats & the West, a collaborative exhibition exploring Yeats’s life, work, and legacy, and his deep connections to the west. Yeats & the West considers what the west meant to him, and what that means for us. For fuller information, visit the website. 

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For Yeats the west was the wellspring of songs, stories, folklore, artwork, drama, crafts; the foundation of the Irish imagination. It was also the landscape of his poetry and plays. Significant events of his life took place there; collaborations that formed his work were forged there. Yeats & the West tells this remarkable story.

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This interactive exhibition features original watercolour sketches and oils by W.B.Yeats’s brother, the celebrated artist Jack Yeats, priceless Cuala Press volumes and broadsides, a wealth of visual material from artists and photographers from Fergus Bourke to Nicolas Fève, and rarely seen images and manuscripts from archive collections in NUI Galway and around the world. Through rare books, original documents, and artworks, and using modern touchscreens, recorded sound, and exclusive film, visitors take a tour of Yeats’s commitment to history, tradition, and new art, all under western eyes. Talks and special events feature throughout the exhibition’s spectacular run from June to December 2015.

Yeats and the West logo

June – December 2015

Hardiman Research Building

NUI Galway

Free admission

Open 9-5 Mon – Sat. (9-5 Mon-Fri until 20 July)

Yeats & the West tells the story of the places and people that made a western cultural revolution.

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On display is W.B.Yeats’s attention to life, love, and landscape in Galway, Sligo, and beyond. Yeats & the West details the many artistic collaborations that centred on Coole Park, Galway between artists of the western world. It follows the foundation of the Abbey Theatre in Galway, and Yeats’s work with J.M.Synge, George Moore and Edward Martyn, using exclusive materials from the Lady Gregory Collection, the Abbey Digital Archive, and the Lyric Theatre Belfast. It explores his obsession with local poet Antoine Ó Raifteiri, and highlights the gifted artists of Yeats’s own family, whose pioneering work is showcased in exquisite handprinted books and in embroidery from Loughrea cathedral.

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Yeats’s restoration of Thoor Ballylee, Galway, is seen alongside the construction of his own poetry, and the effects of revolution and civil war on his work and the west is put starkly on view with manuscripts from the National Library of Ireland, and rare books and photographs. Collaborations with his artist brother Jack Yeats are illustrated with newly exhibited sketches and exquisite colour prints. Yeats & the West even tracks his furthest forays west, following him and the Abbey players as they cross the Atlantic and bring back with them a renewed idea of the breadth of the western world.

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Through images, words, film, and sound, with interactive touchscreens, panels, and rich display cases, using valuable material from the university’s collections and from around the world, Yeats & the West tells anew an old story: a story of going west to find those places, real and imaginative, that change our sense of where and who we are.

The exhibition runs from June to December 2015 in the Hardiman Building, NUI Galway with special events throughout.

With special thanks to the Moore Institute, Hardiman Library, NUI Galway’s President’s Office, Galway City Museum, the National Library of Ireland, Loughrea Cathedral, the Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society, and Yeats2015.

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Yeats auction today at Thoor!

Today, Sunday May 31st 2015, the Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society holds a unique fundraising auction. This development fundraising evening takes place at Thoor Ballylee Gort, Co. Galway in the former home of the world-famous poet William Butler Yeats. With shades of the Beatles on the roof at Savile Row or U2 from Dublin’s Clarence Hotel, the auction comes from the rooftop of the tower. Local Auctioneer, Colm Farrell (MIPAV) acts as William Butler Yeats.

Funds raised will be used to re-open the tower to the public thirteen days later on the poet’s birthday (13 June) and to set in stone long-term plans for a permanent Yeats exhibition, a cafe, bookshop, and space for exhibitions, lectures and classes at this most remarkable building, ‘the most important public building in Ireland’ according to the late Seamus Heaney.

The fantastic Yeats-themed items and gifts available, including rare books and hotel mini break offers, are featured here. We are hugely grateful to our donors and sponsors.

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At the Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society auction on Sunday 31st May 2015 one of the items available is a fine set of the Complete Works of J.M.Synge (Dublin: Maunsel & Co. 1910, first edition), edited by W.B.Yeats. Yeats edited the volumes after Synge’s death, deeply affected by the example of his life and his work. Meeting Synge as a young man in Paris Yeats had urged him to go to the Aran Islands to give expression to the life there. They became friends and collaborators at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin; Yeats was astonished at Synge’s genius without ever quite feeling he fully knew the man himself. After his death he wrote in ‘J.M.Synge and the Ireland of his time’ that ‘the strength that made him delight in setting the hard virtues by the soft, the bitter by the sweet, salt by mercury, the stone by the elixir, gave him a hunger for harsh facts, for ugly surprising things, for all that defies our hope.’ The volumes include this frontispiece portrait by Yeats’s father John Butler Yeats of J.M.Synge during rehearsals in 1907 for Synge’s vibrant and controversial drama The Playboy of the Western WorldYeats’s curtain speech after the orchestrated ‘riots’ that interrupted the production was a major statement in favour of artistic freedom in Ireland.

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Yeats auction lots

The extraordinary Yeats auction approaches this weekend, on Sunday May 31st 2015. Come along and bid for Yeats and other rare books, artwork, memorabilia, and special offers and items from our sponsors. Featured below is a provisional list of available lots. All support for the Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society is vital for the opening and sustaining of Yeats’s tower. thoorballylee-sketch

Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society – Auction list Sunday May 31st 2015

Lot 1 4 Lots. Hard Back Books “W.B .Yeats and The Muses’’ by Joseph M. Hassett
Lot 2 Dinner for 2 at Gregans Castle Hotel, Ballyvaughan. Cooked by Gerard Warren Chef, Mr. David Hurley, Simon Hader
Lot 3 A hand knitted jumper Contact Mary Bermingham to decide style, colour etc. )From Burren Nature
Lot 4 1 Bio Energy Healing Session By Sara Jane Kingston
Lot 5 2 nights for 4 people in a self catering 2 bedroom apartment in Galway City Center. Currently available for Bank Holiday Weekend and the 2016 Races.   Rest of 2015 due to availability (see booking.com)
Lot 6 Bojangles. wash, cut and blow dry.Bojangles are the Sponsoring Hairdresser for Current ’W.B. ’
Lot 7 Ewe Lamb from ’Shanbhaile Beostoic’
Lot 8 1 single bed
Lot 9 Candlelit dinner for 4 on the rooftop of Thoor Ballylee Tower.
Lot 10 4 Volumes of the complete works of JM Synge. First Edition, ed. W.B.Yeats. Printed by Maunsel & Co. Dublin. 1910
Lot 11 Handmade Pearl Necklace and Earring set from True Colours
Lot 12 Handcrafted Heirloom Quality Designed Rosary Beads with Leather case
Lot 13 Set of Pearl Earrings from True Colours
Lot 14 Framed print ‘Bridge over waterfall’
Lot 15 Framed print ‘Playtime by the Fire’
Lot 16 Framed print ‘Evening Harbour View’
Lot 17 Tickets for 5 opening nights at the Abbey Theatre
Lot 18 3 pretty floral prints
Lot 19 3 nights Self Catering Apartment for Couple in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal –
Lot 20 Candle Lit Dinner for 2 at the new ‘’Sasta’’ Restaurant in Gort
Lot 21 Tour of Leinster House and lunch for 4.
Lot 22 Half set of Willow pattern tea set
Lot 23 History of Kiltartan Book
Lot 24 First Edition of Lady Gregory’s Collected Plays with Dust Cover
Lot 25 Limited Edition, linocut portrait of Oscar Wilde By S. Browne
Lot 26 ½ set of a 1920s hand painted bone china tea set
Lot 27 Victorian Copper lusterware dresser jug with sprigged floral decoration and mask spout
Lot 28 Victorian copper lustre jug
Lot 29 2 nights stay including one evening meal for 2 people at Mount Vernon, Flaggy Shore, Co. Clare.
Lot 30 Boxed set of Oriental Dessert Knives and Forks
Lot 31 Serving cake and butter Knife with floral motif handles
Lots 32 Reserve to be decided    Rare Books

A.E. (George Russell) Vale and Other Poems – A.E. 1931. First Edition. MACMILLAN & CO    Voices of the Stones – A.E. 1925. First Edition. MACMILLAN & CO    The Interpreters – A.E. 1922. First Edition. MACMILLAN & CO    Song and its Fountains – A.E. 1932 First Edition. MACMILLAN & CO    Imagination and Reveries – A.E. 1925 Second Edition. MACMILLAN & CO.

James Stephens Kings and the Moon (Poems) 1938 First Edition. MACMILLAN & CO    The Demi-Gods 1922 Second Edition. MACMILLAN & CO  

Sean O’Casey  Purple Dust – A Warward Comedy in Three Acts. 1st Edition 1940. London. MACMILLAN & CO     Oak Leaves and Lavender – a Warld on Wallpapers.1946. MACMILLAN & CO    Two Plays: Juno and the Paycock and the Shadow of a Gunman. 1925. MACMILLAN & CO.    Within the Gates: Play of Four Scenes in a London Park. 1933 MACMILLAN & CO.

Lot 33 First Edition Lady Gregory’s Journal (Reserve tbd)
Lot 34 High Quality Canvas Wrap Photograph ‘’Snow Capped Thor Ballylee’’ (50cm wide x 40cm high)
Lot 35 4 lots Illustration – The Stares Nest By My Window – WB Yeats By Brian Gallagher 2015
Lot 36 Yeats Clock an original piece made from slate
Lot 37 6 Pieces of Michael Kennedy Studio Art Pottery
Lot 38 2 nights stay with the Flynn Hotel Group (Old Ground, Ennis: Newpark, Kilkenny; Park, Dungarvan and Imperial, Cork)
Lot 39 Print of WB Yeats from Literary Greats Exhibition, Mark Mc Fadden
Lot 40 A lamb
Lot 41 A course of ten Yoga classes.

Yeats invites you to Thoor auction

On Sunday May 31st 2015 the Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society will hold a development fundraising evening at Thoor Ballylee Gort, Co. Galway in the former home of the world-famous poet William Butler Yeats. With shades of the Beatles on the roof at Savile Row or U2 from Dublin’s Clarence Hotel, the auction will take place from the rooftop of the tower. Local Auctioneer, Colm Farrell (MIPAV) acts as William Butler Yeats.

Funds raised will be used to re-open the tower to the public thirteen days later on the poet’s birthday (13 June) and to set in stone long-term plans for a permanent Yeats exhibition, a cafe, bookshop, and space for exhibitions, lectures and classes at this most remarkable building, ‘the most important public building in Ireland’ according to the late Seamus Heaney.

The fantastic Yeats-themed items and gifts available, including rare books and hotel mini break offers, will be featured on this website in the lead up to this event. So too will all our wonderful donors and sponsors.

 

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At the Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society auction on Sunday 31st May 2015 one of the items available is a fine set of the Complete Works of J.M.Synge (Dublin: Maunsel & Co. 1910, first edition), edited by W.B.Yeats. Yeats edited the volumes after Synge’s death, deeply affected by the example of his life and his work. Meeting Synge as a young man in Paris Yeats had urged him to go to the Aran Islands to give expression to the life there. They became friends and collaborators at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin; Yeats was astonished at Synge’s genius without ever quite feeling he fully knew the man himself. After his death he wrote in ‘J.M.Synge and the Ireland of his time’ that ‘the strength that made him delight in setting the hard virtues by the soft, the bitter by the sweet, salt by mercury, the stone by the elixir, gave him a hunger for harsh facts, for ugly surprising things, for all that defies our hope.’ The volumes include this frontispiece portrait by Yeats’s father John Butler Yeats of J.M.Synge during rehearsals in 1907 for Synge’s vibrant and controversial drama The Playboy of the Western WorldYeats’s curtain speech after the orchestrated ‘riots’ that interrupted the production was a major statement in favour of artistic freedom in Ireland.

Synge1907L

Yeats auction: J.M.Synge

At the Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society auction on Sunday 31st May 2015 one of the items available is a fine set of the Complete Works of J.M.Synge (Dublin: Maunsel & Co. 1910, first edition), edited by W.B.Yeats. Yeats edited the volumes after Synge’s death, deeply affected by the example of his life and his work. Meeting Synge as a young man in Paris Yeats had urged him to go to the Aran Islands to give expression to the life there. They became friends and collaborators at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin; Yeats was astonished at Synge’s genius without ever quite feeling he fully knew the man himself. After his death he wrote in ‘J.M.Synge and the Ireland of his time’ that ‘the strength that made him delight in setting the hard virtues by the soft, the bitter by the sweet, salt by mercury, the stone by the elixir, gave him a hunger for harsh facts, for ugly surprising things, for all that defies our hope.’ The volumes include this frontispiece portrait by Yeats’s father John Butler Yeats of J.M.Synge during rehearsals in 1907 for Synge’s vibrant and controversial drama The Playboy of the Western WorldYeats’s curtain speech after the orchestrated ‘riots’ that interrupted the production was a major statement in favour of artistic freedom in Ireland.

Synge1907L

On May 31st 2015 the Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society will hold a development fundraising evening at Thoor Ballylee Gort, Co. Galway in the former home of the world-famous poet William Butler Yeats. With shades of the Beatles on the roof at Savile Row or U2 from Dublin’s Clarence Hotel, the auction will take place from the rooftop of the tower by local Auctioneer, Colm Farrell (MIPAV), acting as William Butler Yeats. Funds raised will be used to re-open the tower to the public thirteen days later on the poet’s birthday (13 June) and to set in stone long-term plans for a permanent Yeats exhibition, a cafe, bookshop, and space for exhibitions, lectures and classes at this most remarkable building, ‘the most important public building in Ireland’ according to the late Seamus Heaney.

The fantastic Yeats-themed items and gifts available, including rare books and hotel mini break offers, will be featured on this website in the lead up to this event. So too will all our wonderful donors and sponsors.

The Galway Advertiser feature on this unique event is linked here. 

To give to this fundraising effort go to our donate page or contact us at yeatsthoorballylee@gmail.com.

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