Artistic pioneer celebrated in Waterford exhibition

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Art buffs in Waterford have just a few more days to catch an important exhibition celebrating the work of the Irish artist Hilda Roberts.

The exhibition at Newtown School was opened at the weekend by the President, Mrs McAleese, and runs until Saturday before moving to other cities. Originally from Dublin, Hilda Roberts was married to Arnold Marsh, the headmaster at Newtown School for 13 years until 1939. "Both of them made a huge contribution to the artistic development of Newtown School and Waterford city during their time here," says the deputy principal of the school, Mr Roger Johnson.

"They were instrumental in initiating the Municipal Art Collection housed in Waterford's city hall and they started the first Waterford art exhibition at Newtown's gymnasium in 1934."

Roberts, who died in 1982, was best known as a portrait painter during the 1930s and 1940s.

The Newtown exhibition includes early illustrations, paintings and drawings, including some embroidery and sculpture.

It also covers her social satires of Dublin life and her record of life on the Aran Islands and Achill.

Some 80 pieces of work will be exhibited, some of which are on loan and others of which are available to purchase. After Waterford, the exhibition will be staged in the RHA Gallery in Dublin from December 10th to 20th, Limerick's Hunt Museum from January 14th to 30th and the Crawford Municipal Gallery in Cork from February 4th to 20th.

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