Exhibitions Update: Burst the Heart Open

Part of the Burst the Heart Open Exhibition Crew, from left to right:  Robert Williams, Conservation Assistant & Class of 2014, Catherince Macek, Bookbuilder Intern and Class of 2012, Kathleen Williams, Irish Studies Librarian and Barbara Adams Hebard, Conservator, Burns Library.  Photo by Gary Wayne Gilbert.

Part of the Burst the Heart Open Exhibition Crew, from left to right: Robert Williams, Conservation Assistant & Class of 2014, Catherince Macek, Bookbuilder Intern and Class of 2012, Kathleen Williams, Irish Studies Librarian and Barbara Adams Hebard, Conservator, Burns Library. Photo by Gary Wayne Gilbert.

The Boston College Center for Irish Programs and the Boston College Libraries extend a warm invitation to the exhibition of Irish paintings entitled Burst the Heart Open, showing at the John J. Burns Library at Boston College. Sponsored by Culture Ireland and the Office of Public Works, Ireland the collection of paintings spans a century of Irish art – art that was created across a time period that saw enormous change in the island of Ireland.  Exploring the rich and various approaches of artists the exhibition includes works by Patrick Collins, Louis le Brocquy, Ciaran Lennon and Paul Doran.

Most of the artists represented are Irish by birth or have lived and worked in Ireland. Some represent the Irish Diaspora. While the selections included do not form a complete survey of painting in Ireland, they do present an overview of works that manifest the joy of working in the medium of paint.

The "Burst the Heart Open" and "Painter, Illustrator, Author: Irish Art in the Twentieth Century" exhibits are on display in the Burns Library's Irish and Fine Print Rooms from November 14th, 2011 - January 14th, 2012. Photograph by Andrew Kuhn.

The “Burst the Heart Open” and “Painter, Illustrator, Author: Irish Art in the Twentieth Century” exhibits are on display in the Burns Library’s Irish and Fine Print Rooms from November 14th, 2011 – January 14th, 2012. Photograph by Andrew Kuhn.

The passion for Irish painting present in Burst the Heart Open cannot be contained in oil and canvas.  The book has also been a site where Irish painters have honed their craft as illustrators, designers and writers.  This intersection of Irish painting, literature, and book arts has provided an opportunity for the Burns Library to place volumes from its Irish and Fine Print Collections in dialogue with Irish painting.  As a companion exhibit to Burst the Heart Open, Painter, Illustrator, Author: Irish Art in the Twentieth Century seeks to understand the paintings of artists such as Jack B. Yeats, Louis le Brocquy, Norah McGuinness, and Barrie Cooke through a consideration of their artistic endeavors printed within the pages of books.  Taken together, the exhibits invite the viewer to experience the richness of Irish art in a variety of media and emphasize the fruitful collaboration between Irish painting and the book arts in the twentieth century.  The exhibition runs from November 14, 2011 through January 14, 2012. For information on Burns Library hours and directions to the Burns Library, click here.

  • Andrew Kuhn, Curator for Painter, Illustrator, Author: Irish Art in the Twentieth Century, Burns Library Reading Room Student Assistant & Ph.d. Candidate in the Department of English

About John J. Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections at Boston College

The University’s special collections, including the University’s Archives, are housed in the Honorable John J. Burns Library, located in the Bapst Library Building, north entrance. Burns Library staff work with students and faculty to support learning and teaching at Boston College, offering access to unique primary sources through instruction sessions, exhibits, and programming. The Burns Library also serves the research needs of external scholars, hosting researchers from around the globe interested in using the collections. The Burns Library is home to more than 200,000 volumes and over 700 manuscript collections, including holdings of music, photographic materials, art and artifacts, and ephemera. Though its collections cover virtually the entire spectrum of human knowledge, the Burns Library has achieved international recognition in several specific areas of research, most notably: Irish studies; British Catholic authors; Jesuitica; Fine printing; Catholic liturgy and life in America, 1925-1975; Boston history; the Caribbean, especially Jamaica; Nursing; and Congressional archives.
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