Liam Swords Foundation Lecture

“I know its value for propaganda” – an important Irish art exhibition in Paris, 1922.

“I know its value for propaganda” – an important Irish art exhibition in Paris, 1922.

In January 1922, as the Irish State was transitioning to independence, its government, as part of a programme to have the State’s sovereignty recognised internationally, participated in a World Congress for the Irish Race in Paris. The Congress was a political gathering attended by an Irish delegation that included three future Irish presidents and diaspora organisations from thirty countries. It was occasioned by a major, month-long Irish art exhibition of three hundred art works. This was the first time the emerging new State used art to position itself internationally. The lecture by Billy Shortall (History of Art and Architecture, TCD) seeks to recover the narrative of this important exhibition and the cultural aspects of the Congress.