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Yeats and the West: An Exhibition of Western Worlds
March 24, 2016 - May 12, 2016Free
William Butler Yeats, poet, playwright, politician, and Nobel prize-winner for literature always looked west. Yeats & the West considers what the west meant to him, and what that means for us.
For W.B. Yeats the West of Ireland was foundational. Sligo was his family home, and Galway was where he brought his own family. Significant events of his life were played out there; collaborations that changed his work were formed there.
The West of Ireland was the wellspring of Yeats’s imagination. A landscape of islands, stones, and solitary trees was the landscape of his poetry. The culture of the West, its history, its traditions of craft, story, and song shaped his sense of a past worth reviving and a present worth honouring, and by doing so shaped modern Ireland.
The Yeats & the West exhibition comes to The Model this March, from NUI Galway, and explores Yeats’s life, work, and legacy through his connections to the west. Rare artworks, books, manuscripts and exclusive images, photographs and film feature in an exhibition that reveals the impact of western heritage on W.B. Yeats and the wider Yeats family. Their commitment to crafts and culture created a western revolution that shaped modern Ireland.
“Yeats always looked west. For him the west of Ireland was the wellspring of songs, stories, and folklore, the foundation of the Irish imagination. It was the landscape of his poetry and plays. Significant events of his life took place here; collaborations that formed his work were forged here. This western outlook even took him and the Abbey Theatre players as far as the American west. Yeats & the West tells this remarkable story and considers what the west meant to him, and what that means for us”, explains Dr Adrian Paterson, a Lecturer in English at NUI Galway and scholar of W.B. Yeats, who led the curation of the exhibition.
Presented in association with NUI Galway, Yeats & the West features research input from the University’s Moore Institute; exclusive materials from the James Hardiman Library, from the National Library of Ireland, and The Model’s own collections. The exhibition represents NUI Galway’s continuing contribution to the Decade of Commemorations and to Yeats2015, the worldwide series of cultural events marking the poet’s 150th birthday.
Opening Reception Thu. 24 Mar. 6pm