12/09/2012 Deenihan opens Pugin at Maynooth event

Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will today (Wednesday 12 September 2012) at NUI Maynooth, officially open Pugin at Maynooth, a conference, exhibition and book launch which celebrates the bicentenary of the birth of A.W.N. Pugin.

Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1st March 1812 – 14th September 1852) was one of the most influential nineteenth-century British architects, best remembered for his pioneering contribution to the Gothic Revival in Britain and Ireland. The extension to St. Patrick’s College Maynooth was arguably Pugin’s most important and certainly his largest work in Ireland. A Project that comprises a library, a refectory for over 500 seminarians, class-halls, more than 200 bedrooms, professional accommodation and spacious cloisters provided many opportunities for Pugin to display his extensive talents.

Commenting on the event, Minister Deenihan said “Pugin, arguably the greatest architect and design theorist of his generation, achieved an extraordinary amount in such a tragically short life time. Recently I opened the exhibition of Pugin drawings in the Irish Architectural Archive which opened my eyes to the extraordinary attention to detail he displayed in all his work. I understand that a number of these items have been loaned for the present exhibition which greatly enhances this event.”
The conference, which celebrates Pugin’s bicentenary, has been jointly organised by St. Patrick’s College Maynooth and the National University of Ireland Maynooth. The Exhibition, Pugin, Maynooth and Revival, includes an extensive collection of A.W.N Pugin’s documents which will be on show in the Russell Library Maynooth and runs from 12 September to 12 October 2012. The booklet ‘Pugin at Maynooth’ is also jointly published by both institutions as a lasting record of the contribution of Pugin to Maynooth.
Minister Deenihan continued “It is widely acknowledged that Pugin completely transformed architecture in Britain and Ireland. The neo-Gothic churches that we find in almost every town and village throughout the country are his direct architectural legacy to us. Due to the strength of his architectural convictions, Pugin today holds a profound and lasting legacy.”
In conclusion, Minister Deenihan said “Today’s conference, exhibition and book launch are a credit to the organisers and a fitting tribute to Pugin’s wide-ranging and extensive achievements here at Maynooth. I am confident that family members present will feel justifiably proud of their celebrated ancestor.”

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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