[box]Robert Ballagh’s stained glass window, “An Gorta Mór,” is among the many pieces of art at Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University, 3011 Whitney Ave., Hamden.[/box]

Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University will celebrate its first anniversary with a reception featuring a live harpist, wine and hors d’oeuvres from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12. The museum is located at 3011 Whitney Ave.

“In its first year, Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University has welcomed more than 10,000 visitors,” said Grace Brady, executive director of the museum. “In addition to visitors from California, Illinois, Florida, Wisconsin and the tri-state area, people from Ireland, Japan, Iceland and England also visited the museum.

“The museum hosted numerous events including lectures and musical events which helped to make the year a huge success,” Brady said. “We look forward to furthering the museum’s important mission in the years ahead through new acquisitions, installations and dynamic programming. We look forward to welcoming more visitors.”

Tickets for the one-year anniversary celebration are on sale for $25 and should be purchased in advance by calling 203-582-6500 or emailing [email protected]. Business attire is preferred. Proceeds from the event will go towards advancing the museum’s mission and allowing the museum to continue offering high-quality educational programs.

Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum is home to the world’s largest collection of visual art, artifacts and printed materials relating to the Irish Famine. The museum preserves, builds and presents its art collection in order to stimulate reflection, inspire imagination and advance awareness of Ireland’s Great Hunger and its long aftermath on both sides of the Atlantic.

The collection focuses on the famine years from 1845-52, when blight destroyed virtually all of Ireland’s potato crops for consecutive years. The crop destruction, coupled with British governmental indifference to the plight of the Irish, who at the time were part of the United Kingdom, resulted in the deaths of more than 1 million Irish men, women and children and the emigration of more than 2 million to nations around the world. This tragedy occurred even though there was more than adequate food in the country to feed its starving populace. Exports of food and livestock from Ireland actually increased during the years of the Great Hunger.

Works by noted contemporary Irish artists are featured at the museum including internationally known sculptors John Behan, Rowan Gillespie and Eamonn O’Doherty; as well as contemporary visual artists, Robert Ballagh, Alanna O’Kelly Brian Maguire and Hughie O’Donoghue. Featured paintings include several important 19th and 20th‐century works by artists such as James Brenan, Daniel MacDonald, James Arthur O’Connor and Jack B. Yeats.

The museum is open Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursdays 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays 1-5 p.m.

Posted by Chris

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