George Russell AE

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Artist Bio

George Russell AE George Russell (1867-1935) was an Irish artist, writer, editor, critic, poet and nationalist. Born in Lurgan, Co. Armagh, he moved to Dublin as a child and went on to study at the Metropolitan School of Art, where he developed a close friendship with William Butler Yeats. Russell also took evening classes at the Royal Hibernian Academy where he was presented with the RHA prize for best figure painting from the living model. He had a varied career, working as Assistant Secretary to the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society (IAOS) and as editor of The Irish Statesman and The Irish Homestead. He was a pacifist and a Nationalist, writing a poem about his feelings on the Easter Rising, involving himself in the anti-partition Irish Dominion League, and during the Irish Convention (1917-18) he stood in opposition of John Redmond’s compromise on Home Rule as an independent delegate. He has had a number of poetry books published, including Homeward: Songs by the Way in 1894 which brought him recognition as a talented Irish literary.
Despite his other exploits, Russell remained an avid painter, exhibiting at the Royal Hibernian Academy, the Fine Arts Society in London and Leinster Hall in Dublin, among others. A memorial exhibition was held in his honour at the Daniel Egan Gallery in Dublin, at the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery and at the National Gallery of Ireland.

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