Sculpture Dublin Lecture Series with Paula Murphy

A series of six lectures on public sculpture in Dublin will be streamed online. There will be one lecture a month, starting in January 2021. The lectures, which were filmed in the City Hall, explore public sculpture in Dublin from different viewpoints, as indicated in the lecture titles below. The lecturer, Paula Murphy, is a specialist in the history and theory of sculpture and has published widely on Irish sculpture. A UCD emeritus professor, she is a member of the Steering Group of Sculpture Dublin. A Q/A with Professor Murphy will take place after each lecture. This series of lectures will focus on the historic work in the city. Contemporary sculptural practice in Dublin will be explored with The Hugh Lane and The LAB Gallery.

The bookings take place separately for each lecture, through Eventbrite. On the day of the monthly session, the bookings will open for the following lecture screening & Q/A (link at the end of the web page to register for the next lecture).

Please note that the lectures will be made available to watch on our website after each screening.

1. The Story

29 January 2021, 1-2pm

This lecture recounts the history of the city’s public sculpture since the first monuments were erected in the eighteenth century.

2. The Practice

26 February 2021, 1-2pm

This lecture examines the education of sculptors in Dublin, the making of sculpture, the materials used and the location of public sculptural work in the city.

3. The Commission

26 March 2021, 1-2pm

This lecture discusses the commissioning process – how a monument gets to be located in the city. The O’Connell Monument is used as a case study. After the filmed lecture, Jason Ellis, sculptor and sculpture conservator, will talk with Paula Murphy about conservation work on the monument. 

4. The Sculptors

30 April 2021, 1-2pm

This lecture introduces some of the major sculptors who worked in Dublin in the nineteenth century and their practice. The contrast between the career of a local sculptor (Thomas Farrell) and an absentee (John Henry Foley) will be explored.

5. The Women

28 May 2021, 1-2pm

This lecture examines the role of women in public sculpture in Dublin, a practice that was largely male-dominated until the mid-twentieth century. The career of sculptor Gabriel Hayes will be used as a case study.

6. The Controversy

25 June 2021, 1-2pm

This lecture identifies the different ways in which public sculpture in Dublin has engendered controversy. Particular emphasis is given to the fate of the Imperial monuments that were erected in the city – most of which were destroyed and/or removed.

Next Lecture: 4. The Sculptors – Friday 30 April, 1-2pm

The lecture will be streamed online and followed by a Q/A on Zoom with Professor Murphy.