Irish Art . . . Amplified

In Fall 2019, the Snite Museum of Art mounted the landmark exhibit "Looking at the Stars": Irish Art at the University of Notre Dame. In addition to paintings from the Keough Collection, the exhibit featured works from holdings in the museum and the Hesburgh Library, photographs by Alen MacWeeney, and several modern and contemporary paintings from the collection of the O'Brien Family.

Throughout the semester, the Institute collaborated with the Snite on lectures, readings, performances, and activities—some of which were conceived and led by Mr. Marty Fahey, the curator of the O'Brien Collection. A musician as well as a designer and curator, Mr. Fahey focuses on the synergies between art, music, and poetry. His multi-modal approach not only builds engagement with the art, it amplifies the experience of a particular piece. 

At Notre Dame that fall, Mr. Fahey led a program called "Night at the Museum: Irish Art and Music in Conversation." Musicians Liz Carroll (All-Ireland Senior Fiddle Champion), Clodagh Ryan, and Sean Ryan, along with Mr. Fahey, provided musical reflections on six paintings from the O'Brien Collection. Students also participated—offering their personal reflections on paintings in the galleries.

Another example of Mr. Fahey's approach is his work with fellow musicians to create an album of music crafted to coordinate with the themes of the Art Institute of Chicago's 2015 exhibit Ireland: Crossroads of Art and Design, 1690-1840. The music was played as a soundtrack within the exhibits' galleries—and then at a performance at Notre Dame in Fall 2018.

Now, in a project he conceived called "Irish Art . . . Amplified," Mr. Fahey is sharing his expertise with the Institute to create a database that pairs works of art in the Snite Museum and the O'Brien Collection with poetry and music.

We will feature these pairings on a rotating basis on our website.