Time to save Yeats Family Collection

 

Sir, – As writers, artists, and scholars of Irish culture, we call upon Heather Humphreys, the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, to save for the nation the Yeats Family Collection, which is due to be sold in London on September 27th.

The collection contains a unique trove of material relating to Ireland’s foremost artistic family: the Nobel Prize-winning poet WB Yeats, his brother the painter Jack B Yeats, their sisters Susan (Lily) and Elizabeth (Lolly), founders of the pioneering Cuala Industries and Press, and their father, the artist John Butler Yeats. It is also much more than just a family collection. Irreplaceable sketchbooks, notebooks, scrapbooks, manuscripts, letters, photographs, furniture, personal items (from chess sets to candlesticks), and an astonishingly rich array of visual artworks constitute a resource of the highest scholarly and artistic importance. In featuring many other important cultural figures – including Augusta Gregory, JM Synge, Douglas Hyde, AE (George Russell) and Máire Nic Shiubhlaigh – as well as forming part of the story of the founding of such institutions as the Abbey Theatre and the Hugh Lane Gallery, the collection illuminates the very making of modern Ireland a century ago.

In this decade of centenaries, preserving such a collection for the future benefit of Ireland has to be within the power of the Government and the national institutions concerned.

Once the collection is broken up and sold, the chance will not come again.

It is not too late to act. – Yours, etc,

ADRIAN PATERSON,

NUI Galway;

TOM WALKER,

Trinity College Dublin;

MICHAEL LONGLEY,

Belfast;

EDNA LONGLEY,

Queen’s University Belfast;

MARIE HEANEY, Dublin;

PETER FALLON,

Gallery Press;

NICHOLAS GRENE,

Trinity College Dublin;

LUCY McDIARMID,

Montclair State University;

BERNARD O’DONOGHUE,

Wadham College, Oxford;

NICK LAIRD, NYU;

TERENCE BROWN,

Trinity College Dublin;

MATTHEW CAMPBELL,

University of York;

ADRIAN FRAZIER,

NUI Galway;

DECLAN FOLEY,

Yeats Society of Victoria;

JOHN McAULIFFE,

University of Manchester;

CHRISTOPHER MORASH,

Trinity College Dublin;

GERARD DAWE,

Trinity College Dublin;

VONA GROARKE, Poet;

PETER SIRR, Aosdána;

HUGH HAUGHTON,

University of York;

GERARD SMYTH, Aosdána;

ALAN GILLIS,

University of Edinburgh;

ENDA WYLEY, Poet;

PETER McDONALD,

Christ Church, Oxford;

COLETTE BRYCE, Poet;

FRAN BREARTON,

Queen’s University Belfast;

LUCY COLLINS,

University College Dublin;

ANTHONY FARRELL,

Lilliput Press;

DEIRDRE MADDEN,

Trinity College Dublin;

JOHN BRANNIGAN,

University College Dublin;

HARRY CLIFTON,

Aosdána;

MIKE McCORMACK,

Galway;

ANDREW McNEILLIE,

University of Exeter;

IGGY McGOVERN,

Trinity College Dublin;

COLIN GRAHAM,

Maynooth University;

DAVID FITZPATRICK,

Trinity College Dublin;

NICHOLAS ALLEN,

University of Georgia;

CIARAN BERRY,

Trinity College,

Hartford, Connecticut;

DAVID WHEATLEY,

University of Aberdeen;

PHILIP COLEMAN,

Trinity College Dublin;

IAN DUHIG, Poet;

JOHN REDMOND,

University of Liverpool;

RÓISÍN KENNEDY,

University College Dublin;

LOUIS DE PAOR,

NUI Galway;

CONRAD BRUNSTROM,

Maynooth University;

CHARLES I ARMSTRONG,

University of Agder

(Norway);

ALEX DAVIS,

University College Cork;

SELINA GUINNESS,

IADT, Dún Laoghaire;

ÍDE CORLEY,

Maynooth University;

CAROLINE MAGENNIS,

University of Salford;

BENJAMIN KEATINGE,

formerly South East

European University;

ALEX MURRAY,

Queen’s University Belfast;

TARA STUBBS,

Kellogg College, Oxford;

ONDREJ PILNY,

Charles University, Prague;

PAUL DELANEY,

Trinity College Dublin;

BEN LEVITAS,

Goldsmiths,

University of London;

ÉIMEAR O’CONNOR,

Dublin;

JOHN KENNY, NUI Galway;

RODY GORMAN,

University of

the Highlands & Islands;

SEÁN LYSAGHT, GMIT;

MICHAEL WALDRON,

University College Cork;

MOYNAGH SULLIVAN,

Maynooth University;

OONA FRAWLEY,

Maynooth University;

EVE PATTEN,

Trinity College Dublin;

LAUREN ARRINGTON,

University of Liverpool;

EMILIE MORIN,

University of York;

WILLY MALEY,

University of Glasgow;

FRANK SHOVLIN,

University of Liverpool;

JOHN McCOURT,

University

of Macerata (Italy);

CIARAN O’NEILL,

Trinity College Dublin;

FIORENZO FANTACCINI,

Università di Firenze;

NEIL MANN, Madrid;

RICHARD PINE,

Durrell Library of Corfu;

CLÍONA NÍ RÍORDÁIN,

Université Sorbonne

Nouvelle-Paris 3;

ALEXANDRA POULAIN,

Université Sorbonne

Nouvelle-Paris 3;

PETER DENMAN,

Maynooth University;

MARTIN DYAR, Poet;

ROSIE LAVAN,

Trinity College Dublin;

MARTIN ENRIGHT,

President, Yeats

Society Sligo;

PATRICK LONERGAN,

NUI Galway;

MELINDA SZUTS,

Hungarian Yeats Society;

LARRY KIRWAN, Black 47;

REBECCA BARR,

NUI Galway;

MARIANNE

NÍ CHINNÉIDE,

NUI Galway.