"Pictures at an Exhibition": Notre Dame's Celebration of the Centenary of James Joyce's Ulysses

Author: Mary Hendriksen


On February 9th, the Keough-Naughton Institute collaborated with the Hesburgh Libraries to commemorate and celebrate the centenary of James Joyce's monumental novel Ulysses.

While delayed one week because of a snowstorm that closed campus on February 2nd, the actual anniversary of publication (and Joyce's 40th birthday), the slightly delayed celebration brought together scholars of literature and history, and bibliophiles.

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The afternoon began with an exhibition in the Rare Books Room curated by Irish Studies Librarian Aedín Ní Bhróithe Clements. On display was Notre Dame's copy of the 1922 first edition published by Sylvia Beach of Shakespeare and Company, along with other rare and interesting editions. 

Visitors to the exhibition were captivated by three works in particular:


A print by the late Irish artist David Lilburn – Eccles Street, from In Medias Res: The Ulysses Maps: A Dublin OdysseyThis print will be available for viewing through the month of February

The 1935 edition of Ulysses illustrated by Matisse;.

A first edition of Giselle Freund's James Joyce in Paris: His Final Years, with striking black-and-white photographs.

[Read more about the "Spotlight" exhibit, through February.]

At 3:30, Barry McCrea, Keough Family Chair of Irish Studies, delivered a talk on "Joyce, Proust, Paris, 1922" that was preceded by remarks from Kevin Byrne, Ireland's Consul General to the Midwest, Chicago, and Laura Knoppers, George N. Shuster Professor of English Literature and Chair, Notre Dame.

The day's celebration was a constituent part of a year-long initiative with multiple partners under the Consulate's umbrella initiative: States of Modernity: Forging Ireland in Paris 1922 | 2022


For a complete catalog of the current Ulysses exhibit in the Rare Books Room, as well as the February 9th pop-up exhibit, please see this blogpost by Aedin Clements. 

Photos: Barbara Johnston, University photographer