The Irish Georgian Society held their annual New York Gala dinner on Wednesday, October 25th where they announced plans for the reopening of the restored Dublin City Assembly House with an historic art exhibition. The evening speakers included Beth Dater (President of the American Board of Directors), Dr. David Fleming, outgoing Chair of the Irish Board of Directors and Chair of the Society of Artists Steering Committee, Donough Cahill (Executive Director of the Society in Ireland), and Sir David Davies (President of The Irish Georgian Society and owner of Abbey Leix, his estate in Co. Laois, Ireland). Guests included their American Board of Directors: President Beth Dater, Chantal O’Sullivan, Annette Lester, Marti Sullivan, Paul Keeler, Susan Burke, Tom Cooney, John Sullivan, and Michael Kerrigan (Executive Director of the Society in the US).
Guests included Mr. Michael Wall (incoming chair of the Irish Board of Directors), Mr. William Laffan (author and art historian), Mr. Robert O’Bryne (author and great friend of the Irish Georgian Society), Mrs. Walter Curley (the wife of the former ambassador to Ireland), Tom Savage (Winterthur Museum in Wilmington, Delaware), Mr. Sean Reynolds, Mr. Jamie McGuire, (author), Friederike Biggs, Christina McInerney and Pamela Schafler (The New York Historical Society).
The Dublin City Assembly House was built in 1766 by the Society of Artists and was the first purpose built public exhibition room in Ireland or Britain, and possibly in Europe. For 14 years it hosted annual art exhibitions and served as a home for an academy of the arts. These exhibitions became among the most fashionable events in Europe and presented most of the great Irish painters of the period. Having lain empty for ten years, the Irish Georgian Society reopened the building in 2013 following the completion of the first of a two-part program of works that was supported by Dublin City Council and the generosity of donors in Ireland, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The final restoration will see the reinstatement of the building’s great Octagonal Room as an exhibition space and as a place for musical and theatrical performances, placing the City Assembly House at the center of Dublin’s cultural life.