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ULSTER MUSEUMStewart continues: "The mostpopular is probably Lavery's Under theCherry Tree.  Personally, I am very fondof his interiors, particularly The DaylightRaid from my Studio Window, whichshows his wife Hazel watching Germanplanes in the sky above London in 1917.But few visitors can resist lingering atThe Green Coat. There are echoes oftechniques used by Velazquez inLavery's stunning full-length portrait ofhis second wife and muse Hazel Martyn,a beautiful young American, whom hewent on to paint in 1927 as Kathleen niHoulihan, the female personification ofIreland, for the currency of the newlyestablished Irish State."There are also some fine paintingsshowing everyday life in the magnificentlandscape of the west of Ireland, whichhave a very particular political andhistorical identity," Stewart explains."Sean Keating's Goodbye Father, inwhich a group of fishermen on the islandof Inisheer are bidding farewell to theirpriest, is a striking example."In June, the outstanding collection ofdrawings and watercolours hangingquietly in its own smaller gallery, will bereplaced by The Art of theEnlightenment, featuring some of thebest works in the permanent collection.Kim Mawhinney, an applied artsspecialist, proudly leads the way intothe large white space which housesthe George and Angela MooreApplied Art Gallery,incorporating glass,ceramics, jewellery,metalwork, silverwareand costume. She saysthat this is the onlymuseum in Irelandwhere internationalcontemporary appliedart can be seen.  "We collectproactively and lookdirectionally at thebest applied art beingmade in the world.When we closed forrefurbishment, Japanwas the leading light andwe bought a number ofpieces of Japanese silver,ceramics and glass. We havealso had major donations ofimportant pieces of studioceramics by Lucie Rie andher partner Hans Coper."The gallery was put in placethanks to a gift of $1m from theAmerican owners of Belleek Pottery inCounty Fermanagh, Ireland's oldestcontinuing pottery, which recentlycelebrated its 150th anniversary. Thereare superb Belleek pieces on display,some dating back to the earliest days ofthe pottery. They include an extremelyrare covered urn vase, adorned withdaisies and forget-me-nots, whichexemplifies the skill and meticulousattention to detail of Irish craftsmen ofcenturies past. In the historic silver section residesone of the most complete silver gilt toiletservices in existence, a gift from LordKildare to his wife on the birth of theirsecond child. Alongside, the Hull GrundyCollection contains many rare pieces ofjewellery amassed by Mrs Anne HullGrundy. An art historian and collector,she was the daughter of a Nurembergbanking family, who fled Nazi Germanyand settled in London. She startedcollecting as a child and built up anextensive collection, specialising injewellery and Japanese netsuke[miniature sculptures]. She begandonating to the Ulster Museum in 1975and continued to do so until her death in1984. The museum's jewellery collectionis constantly augmented and updatedand includes one-off commissionedpieces like Grainne Morton'sMuseum Brooch, to which theart department contributedsmall items.But what really takes the breath away is thecurrent Putting on the Glitzexhibition,featuring aspectacularassortment ofsequinned andbeaded coutureevening gowns.Coming from theateliers of Lanvin,Yves St Laurent,Balmain, AlessandraFerreira, Phillip Lim andmany other legendarydesigners, these exquisitedresses have been worn onred carpets and catwalks theworld over."Our costume collection is unique," explainsMawhinney. "It isimportant because of theAbove left:The Dawn ofChristianity byJMW TurnerLeft: A rare,decorative vasefrom the Belleekpottery collection Main: Stunningevening wearfeatured in thePutting on theGlitzexhibition 34NADFAS REVIEW / SPRING 2011www.nadfas.org.uk

www.nadfas.org.ukNADFAS REVIEW / SPRING 201135way in which we collect. In 1976, thecollection was destroyed by an IRAbomb and we had to start rebuilding itfrom scratch. The present collectiondates from the early to mid-18th centuryup to the present day. Each year, theApplied Art Curator acquires internationalfashion outfits for spring/summer andautumn/winter, buying the completeoutfit, including accessories. We alsobuy an outfit from a high street store inBelfast. So, every year sees new arrivalscome in from, for example the Milancatwalk and Topshop." Since reopening, the museum hasclocked up an astonishing total of over700,000 visitors, which equates toaround 40 per cent of the totalpopulation of Northern Ireland. According to the Director of National Museums Northern Ireland Tim Cooke, public reaction has farexceeded expectations. "Therefurbishment has allowed us toreach wider and more diverselocal, national andinternational audiences.Most encouraging is thatmany of our visitors arenew to museum life,representing all social groups andages. Winning the Art Fund prizeshowed that experienced judges ratedthe museum highly. It has now won 10different awards, which suggests thatour cultural assets and approach tovisitor engagement are world-class."www.nmni.com/0845 608 0000 Inset: An 18th-century Frenchdiamond brooch