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Thomas Ryan’s 1957 Painting Comes to Waterford Gallery of Art

In 1958, the painting ‘View of Waterford’ by Thomas Ryan (Previous President Royal Hibernian Academy) was hung in the Council Chamber where it remained until last week when it was moved to the Waterford Gallery of Art and installed on Tuesday 9th August.

Painted in 1957, the artwork depicts the Redmond Bridge, opened in 1913, by Rohn Redmond, M.P. and made of ferroconcrete (a type of concrete reinforced with steel bars). It replaced the original timber bridge known locally as Timbertoes. However, it did not last as long as it’s predecessor as by 1981 a more structurally substantial bridge was proposed. It’s replacement, The Edmund Rice Bridge, was completed in 1986.

The painting by Ryan depicts a view of Waterford from a not so distant past but it feels vastly different to the city that it is today. From the winding road up to Mount Misery, dark brooding sky and the industrial nature of the bridge and buildings, the painting is fascinating and a fantastic portal into Waterford’s history and heritage.

The brass plate inscription reads:

Erected at Opening of 45th Annual Conference Association of Municipal Authorities of Ireland held in this room, 16th/17th & 18th September 1958 Denis J.Fitzpatick, Mayor Liam Raftis, City Manager

Thomas Ryan was born in Limerick in 1929. He attended the School of Art there, and later the National College of Art in Dublin, where he studied under Sean Keating and Maurice MacGonigal.

He first exhibited at the RHA in 1957, became an associate member in 1968, and was president of the Academy from 1982 to 1993. As well as the RHA, Ryan has exhibited at the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery (Dublin) and regularly at the Waterford Art Exhibition.

The painting is viewable as part of the Recent Works: Donations, Commissions, Acquisitions exhibition and will feature in the official opening of the gallery on Friday 23rd September. The artwork and exhibition are free to visit during gallery opening hours, Wed-Sat, 10am-5pm

Other artworks on show in the ‘Recent Works’ exhibition include paintings by: Letitia Marion Hamilton (RHA), Geraldine O’Brien, Harry Kernoff, Lillian Davidson (ARHA), Rebecca Shackleton, Frances Kelly (ARHA), Josephine Webb, Damaris Lysaght, Fr. Jack Hanlon, Tony Ryan, Anna Moore, Samuel McCloy and Patric Stevenson (PPRUA).

There is also a new wall mural of O’Connell Street in 1900 by local artist Denis Power.

The exhibition also features: recently commissioned poetry in partnership with the Waterford literary journal The Waxed Lemon; Waterford Cultural Quarter films celebrating the rich heritage of O’Connell Street; work in progress by SETU graduate and Waterford Collection of Art Graduate Award winner, Rhys Wallace; documentary short film on Una Sealy (RHA) whose painting ‘Portrait of Caoilfhionn Hanton, Waterford’ was commissioned by Waterford City and County Council and featured in the Royal Hibernian Academy of Arts (RHA) Annual Exhibition 2022 (this work will be shown in the upcoming WGOA exhibition, ‘Portraits: People & Place’ opening 8th September 2022).


21st July – September 3rd, 2022

Launch and Private View, August 4th, 2022, 6pm,

Times: The gallery is open to the public Wednesday -Saturday, 10am-5pm – Free for all.


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