Artist Talk by Photographer Alen MacWeeney


Location: Snite Museum of Art (View on map )

Join us for a talk by Irish-born photographer Alen MacWeeney. 

“Looking at the Stars”: Irish Art at the University of Notre Dame features the work of Alen MacWeeney, one of today’s leading photographers. Born in Dublin in 1939, he began his professional career at age twenty when he was an assistant to the American fashion photographer and portraitist Richard Avedon. This experience began his extensive career in commercial and editorial photography for such newspapers and magazines as Vogue, The New Yorker, and The New York Times Magazine.

The Snite Museum’s presentation of his work focuses on MacWeeney’s photographs of Ireland taken over six decades. Works from the mid-1960s capture the misty streets and cozy pubs of Dublin with Joycean affection. There are also sprawling country landscape views with flocks of sheep and ancient cairns. MacWeeney’s best-known work of this period is the series Travellers: Tinkers No More. At a time when this centuries-old itinerant culture shifted from horse-drawn conveyance to motor-hauled caravans, the photographer explored their makeshift camps with his camera and tape recorder. This particular work will be the focus of MacWeeney’s talk.

MacWeeney’s images intertwine current experience with a reverence for tradition. This quality is also apparent in his Village House series. In 2015 the artist first visited the O’Neill House in rural County Kerry, the family inheritance of a friend that remained little changed through the course of the twentieth century. MacWeeney’s interior studies of the big house contemplate the experiences of its former inhabitants—their values, labors, and comforts.

Visitors will be able to see MacWeeney’s photography in the exhibition before and after the talk.

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