Making 1916

BookMaking 1916

Making 1916

Material and Visual Culture of the Easter Rising


September 14th, 2015





The 1916 Rising is the pivotal yet highly contested moment in Irish history when militant republicans sought to seize political power from Britain, and declared - though unsuccessfully in the short term – an independent state. Credited with inspiring independence movements in other former colonies, the Rising has been the subject of histories from the political to the literary. Yet, the rich variety of objects and images associated with the Rising – from buttons and medals to souvenir postcards – have not formed a focus of academic research. This volume of essays will examine the material and visual culture of the Rising to consider how these illuminate changing ways of engaging with and understanding this iconic event. Family keepsakes such as autograph books from Frongoch internment camp, informal souvenirs such as pieces of rubble from Dublin’s General Post Office, and ‘official’ souvenirs such as photo booklets each played a significant role in the construction of individual and collective memory. In placing material and visual culture centre stage, this book will examine how the spaces, objects and images associated with the Rising are caught up in processes of identity production in both public and private space as changing socio-political conditions generated new understandings of 1916 and its aftermath. It addresses the ‘things’ of 1916 not as mere illustrations of history, but as having agency and effect on material practices central to contested concepts of identity and the creation of social memory.

Contributors: Nicholas Allen, Director of the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts and Franklin Professor of English, University of Georgia Mary Ann Bolger, Lecturer in Design History and Critical Theory, School of Art, Design and Printing, Dublin Institute of Technology Joanna Brück, Reader in Archaeology, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Bristol Justin Carville, Lecturer in Historical and Theoretical Studies in Photography, Dept. of Art and Design, Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire Ciara Chambers, Lecturer in Film Studies, School of Media, Film and Journalism, University of Ulster Pat Cooke, Director of the MA in Cultural Policy and Arts Management, University College Dublin Elizabeth Crooke, Professor of Heritage and Museum Studies, School of Creative Arts and Technologies, University of Ulster Brian Crowley, Curator of the Pearse Museum, Dublin Jack Elliott, Associate Member, Centre for the History of Medicine, University of Warwick Orla Fitzpatrick, PhD researcher, University of Ulster Lisa Godson, Lecturer in History of Design and Material Culture (National College of Art and Design) Brian Hand, artist and Lecturer in Art and Design, Wexford Campus School of Art and Design, Institute of Technology Carlow Daniel Jewesbury, Lecturer in Film, School of Media, Film and Journalism, University of Ulster. Lar Joye, Curator of Military History, National Museum of Ireland Róisín Kennedy, Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Irish Art, School of Art History and Cultural Policy, University College Dublin Brenda Malone, Historian, Registration, National Museum of Ireland Catherine Marshall, Head of Collections, Irish Museum of Modern Art, 1995-2006; co-editor, vol. V, Art and Architecture of Ireland (to be launched November 2014). Laura McAtackney is an historical/contemporary archaeologist based at the School of Social Justice, University College Dublin Bill Mc Cormack was Professor of Literary History at Goldsmiths College, University of London until 2002 and subsequently served as Keeper of the Edward Worth Library, Dublin Franc Myles, Senior Archaeologist, Archaeology and Built Heritage, Smithfield, Dublin Hilary O’Kelly, Lecturer in Design History, National College of Art and Deisgn Damian Shiels, Conflict Archaeologist, Rubicon Heritage Services Ltd., Co. Cork Elaine Sisson, Senior Lecturer in Visual Culture, Faculty of Film, Art and Creative Technologies, Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire Jane Tynan, Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London


'This important book explores the material and visual culture around the Rising. Lisa Godson and Joanna Brück have assembled essays from 23 contributors to comment on a plethora of objects, clothes, photographs, paintings, documents and buildings that provide us with a new set of angles on the events that convulsed Ireland 100 years ago.'
Catriona Crowe, The Irish Times

'This is an insightful and well-edited anthology, which offers material and ideas not available elsewhere.'
Oxford Journals

'A short review cannot do justice to the variety of topics in and quality of contributors to Making 1916. The decision to have short case studies gives the volume a lively energy and it bursts with ideas and is a real achievement to have created a book of essays of such substance and originality.'
Australasian Journal of Irish Studies

Author Information

Lisa Godson is Lecturer at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. Joanna Brück is Reader in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Bristol.

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
Joanna Brück and Lisa Godson Approaching the material
and visual culture of the 1916 Rising
1: The Fabric of the Rising
Brian Hand The fabric of a deathless dream: a
short introduction to the origins and meanings of the 1916 tricolour flag
Jane Tynan The unmilitary appearance of the
1916 Rebels
Franc Myles Beating the retreat: the final
hours of the Easter Rising
Daniel Jewesbury The constitution of a
state yet to come: the unbroken promise of the Half-Proclamation
Bill Mc Cormack What is a forgery or a
catalyst? The so-called ‘Castle Document’ of Holy Week 1916
Ciara Chambers The ‘aftermath’ of the
Rising in cinema newsreels         
Section 2: The Affective Bonds of the Rising
Orla Fitzpatrick Portraits and
propaganda: photographs of the widows and children of the 1916 leaders in The
Catholic Bulletin
Jack Elliott ‘After I am hanged my portrait will
be interesting but not before’. Ephemera and the construction of personal
responses to the Easter Rising
Joanna Brück Nationalism, gender and memory:
internment camp craftwork, 1916-1923
Laura McAtackney Female prison autograph
books: (re)remembering the Easter Rising through the experiences of Irish Civil
War imprisonment
Brian Crowley Pearse’s profile: the making of an
Section 3: Revivalism and the Rising
Elaine Sisson – Dublin Civic Week and the
materialisation of history
Mary Ann Bolger Redesigning the Rising:
typographic commemorations of 1916
Róisín Kennedy The Capuchin Annual:
visual art and the legacy of 1916, one generation on
Hilary O’Kelly National Revival dress
and 1916
Section 4: Remembering the Rising
Lar Joye and Brenda Malone Displaying the
nation:  the 1916 exhibition at the National Museum of Ireland (1932-1991)
Elizabeth Crooke A story of absence and
recovery: the Easter Rising in museums in Northern Ireland
Pat Cooke History, materiality and the myth
of 1916
Damian Shiels Place versus memory: forgetting
Ireland’s sites of independence?
Catherine Marshall ‘Of all the trials not
to paint…’. Sir John Lavery’s painting High Treason, Court of Criminal
Appeal: the Trial of Roger Casement 1916
Justin Carville ‘Dusty fingers of
time’: photography, materials memory and 1916
Lisa Godson Religion, ritual and the
performance of memory in the Irish Free State
Afterword Nicholas Allen Lost
city of the archipelago: Dublin at the end of Empire