Large turnout for annual lecture at Gallery

Pictured at the  Friends of FE McWilliam Annual Spring Lecture are from left Friends Chair Fionnuala Cook, Broadcaster / Journalist Wendy Austin, Sir Donnell Deeny and Curator Dr Riann Coulter �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1609-202EB
Pictured at the Friends of FE McWilliam Annual Spring Lecture are from left Friends Chair Fionnuala Cook, Broadcaster / Journalist Wendy Austin, Sir Donnell Deeny and Curator Dr Riann Coulter �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1609-202EB

The F.E. McWilliam Gallery & Studio was filled to capacity on Tuesday 23rd February for the Friends’ annual Spring Art Lecture.

The Honourable Sir Donnell Deeny, a native of Lurgan, was in conversation with one of the leading broadcast journalists Wendy Austin on the theme of ‘The Lost Treasures of the Second World War’.

The discussion explored Sir Donnell’s important role as chair of the United Kingdom Spoliation Advisory Panel, who advise the Government and museum sector on the return of art looted during the Nazi era to its rightful owners.

When the Nazis rose to power, many priceless artworks were looted, or stolen, from Jewish families and institutions and a small number have ended up in national collections in the UK.

Sir Donnell’s passion for art shone through and his extensive art-world knowledge captivated the audience.

As well as chairing the United Kingdom Spoliation Advisory Panel, Sir Donnell has occupied numerous leadership roles in the cultural sector including Chairman of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Trustee of the Ulster Museum and Director of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Co. Monaghan.

The F.E. McWilliam Gallery & Studio was opened in 2008 to house a collection of work by the Banbridge born sculptor, Frederick Edward McWilliam.

The collection was donated to the State by McWilliam’s family, after the sculptor’s death in 1992 and Banbridge District Council became the custodians.

As well as the F.E. McWilliam sculptures on permanent display, the Gallery also has regular temporary exhibitions of Northern Irish, Irish and international art.

The site also boasts a Sculpture Garden, a replica of McWilliam’s London studio, a craft shop, Quails Cafè and accessible parking.

The Friends of the F.E. McWilliam Gallery & Studio provide valuable support to the Gallery and help promote public use of the facilities.

For more information on the Gallery & Studio, please contact the Gallery on 028 4062 3322 or email info@femcwilliam.com