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ACE2457 'Celtic Twilights': The Honan Chapel and its place in the Arts and Crafts Movement,1894-1925 (Online only)

Started 7 Feb 2024

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Full course description

Course Overview:

The Honan Chapel is internationally regarded as representing the best artwork of the Irish Arts & Crafts Movement (1894-1925). It is a project that owes its origins to the philanthropy of Isabella Honan who died in 1913 and left her estate to the founding of this commission. The project fostered the revival of silver and textile craft working, once central to the Cork economy, and supported local firms such as the builders John Sisk & Son. Egan’s of Patrick Street manufactured the liturgical altar plate. The altar hangings, liturgical banners, and cushions were designed by the Dun Emer Guild associated with Susan and Elizabeth, The Yeats Sisters. The liturgical vestments were made by local seamstresses in the Egan workshop. Sir John Robert O’Connell, as Isabella Honan’s legal executor, was a catalyst for the commission. His collaboration with UCC’s President Sir Bertram Windle, between 1914-17,  contributed to the physical expansion of University College Cork and the revival of craft industry in Cork. The chapel is internationally renowned for its Harry Clarke stained glass windows, especially the St. Gobnait window (pictured)The work of craftswomen is represented in the windows designed by An Túr Gloine (“The Glass Tower"). This was a cooperative for stained glass artists from 1903 to 1944, based in Dublin. The studio, managed by Sarah Purser,  provided an alternative to commercial stained glass imported from England and Germany for Irish churches. Artists were trained  in every detail connected with the design and production of the glass, from the enamelling to cutting, leading, and kiln firing. The cooperative employed notable female artists: Evie Hone, Wilhelmina Geddes, Beatrice Elvery, Ethel Rhind, and Catherine O'Brien. In the Honan Chapel you can see examples of the work of Ethel Rhind, St. Carthage of Lismore, first on right of the main door, and Catherine O’Brien, St. John window, in the sanctuary facing the altar on the tower side of the Honan Chapel. The mosaic floor was designed by Lehmann James Oppenheimer of Manchester his inclusion of the signs of the zodiac still raises questions for visitors to the chapel, but this detail is in tune with the heritage the decorative arts seek to evoke through design. 


Course Practicalities:

This online course will run for 6 weeks from Wednesday 7th of February to 13th March 2024.

Delivered online Microsoft Teams 7-9 p.m. 

Closing date for applications: Monday 29th of January 2024.


Course Schedule:


Week 1: Introduction to the Arts and Crafts movement, its aesthetic philosophy, and the place of the Honan Chapel in this movement. 

Week 2: Sir John O’Connell, his role in the Irish Arts and Crafts movement, and the creative assembling of the designers of the chapel.  

Week 3: The windows of Harry Clarke and An Túr Gloine studio

Week 4: The craftswomen of the Honan Chapel especially the Dun Emer Guild (Dublin) and the studios of Barry Egan (Cork). 

Week 5: The mosaic floor of the Honan Chapel designed by Lehmann James Oppenheimer in Manchester. 

Week 6: Tour of the chapel and its furnishings.


Course Lecturer: 

Dr. James G. R. Cronin is lecturer in teaching and learning enhancement at University College Cork. He has a long-standing interest in the art and architecture of the Honan Chapel. He regularly hosts tours of the chapel and has presented conference papers on the history and aesthetics of the chapel’s design.


Entry Requirements:

Applicants must be at least 18 years old at course commencement.

Contact Details for Further Information


Please note our refund policy as follows
100% refund  if student cancels before course commencement.
100% refund if student's course is cancelled due to insufficient numbers. 
If the student cancels after the first week of the course - full refund minus €50 processing fee. 


If the student cancels after the second week of the course - no refund.