This gathering by Notre Dame sisters and ex-Notre Dame students is establishing itself as a much loved event in the calendar with increasing numbers of attendees and even one or two brave men. As they gathered this year in front of the beautiful window, Anne Morgan played familiar hymns on violin, before leading them in the singing of the Salve Regina.
Curator Rosemary Watt, a former Notre Dame student standing in for Harry Dunlop, then welcomed everyone and led off the school crocodile – old habits die hard! – to the lecture room in which she gave a wonderful talk on Margret Crilley, the wife of Harry Clark.
Margaret was a great artist in her own right who had met Harry at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art and was left to bring up their three children when he died at the tragically young age of 41 from TB and to run his stained glass studios. She managed to do all this as well as continue to paint herself. Rosemary illustrated her talk with fascinating paintings by Margaret.
As Rosemary commented, often she has been almost dismissed in one line as the wife of Harry, in biographies of her husband, but an exhibition of her work in the National Gallery of Ireland is hopefully resulting in a re-evaluation of her own artistic ability and reputation. This was truly an appropriate topic for an audience consisting mainly of former students of girls-only schools and college.