Newry Museum purchase two paintings by Newry-born artist

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Thursday, July 26th, 2018

Newry and Mourne Museum has purchased two paintings by the Newry-born artist Margaret Clarke, with support from the Northern Ireland Museums Council.  

Margaret Clarke (née Crilley) began her studies at Newry Municipal Technical College in the twentieth century and after further training in Dublin established herself as one of Ireland’s premier portrait painters in the 1920’s and 1930’s.



She painted many important public figures including Éamon de Valera and Archbishop John MacQuaid.

Since holding a small exhibition of Margaret Clarke’s work in November 2007 to coincide with the unveiling of blue plaque to her by the Ulster History Circle, it has been the ambition of Newry and Mourne Museum to acquire some of her paintings for the Museum Collection.

Over the past two years, Fiana Griffin kindly provided the Museum with the opportunity to purchase three of Margaret Clarke’s works The Three Marys in 2016 and two paintings of Clarke’s youngest child, David, as a baby and the other as a teenager in 2017.



Earlier this year Ms Griffin offered the Museum the third unfinished portrait of David Clarke, along with one of Clarke’s later figurative works, The Young Seagull.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairman, Councillor Mark Murnin said, “I would like to thank Fiana Griffin for offering these two paintings to Newry and Mourne Museum and the Northern Ireland Museums Council for enthusiastically supporting this venture by generously providing grant aid.”

Northern Ireland Museums Council Director, Sinead McCartan said, “The Northern Ireland Museums Council is delighted to have supported Newry and Mourne Museum in the acquisition of these two paintings by Margaret Clarke. They illustrate the artistic achievements of this local-born artist and the rich cultural history of Newry.”



Newry and Mourne Museum Curator, Noreen Cunningham said, “We are delighted that these paintings by one of Ireland’s most important female artists are now part of the Museum Collection, especially since all three of Margaret Clarke’s paintings of David Clarke are now in Newry.”

Newry and Mourne Museum is open to the public seven days a week and admission is free.

For more information contact 028 3031 3178 or visit



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