Inheritance-Honouring the Cork Legacy at Fota House with an exhibition of 300 Eminent Cork Personalities..

Inheritance-Honouring the Cork Legacy at Fota House with an exhibition of 300 Eminent Cork Personalities

The recently restored Fota House in Carrigtwohill is to host an exhibition of 300 unique portraits of Cork personalities dating from 1600 to the present day. “Inheritance – Honouring the Cork Legacy” is part of a Cork Civic Trust three-year project conceived in 2007 by businessman and Cork Civic Trust Director Michael Mulcahy and artist Kevin Sanquest. The fine art portraits by Kevin Sanquest honour Cork people who contributed enormously to the social and commercial fabric of Cork life and around the world and will be exhibited as part of a long-term loan from March 2010.

The collection will be officially launched at Fota House with a ceremony on March 12th, 2010 when 30 of the world’s Ambassadors will join 300 guests for the occasion. This collection also marks the beginning of plans for a national collection of portraits for all counties on the island of Ireland. This undertaking will result in 3,250 portraits in its collection and will be Ireland’s largest private collection of fine art portraits.

Michael Mulcahy, Director of the Cork Civic Trust said of the collection at Fota House;”Fota House is the ideal home for this collection and I am delighted that these portraits will be on display in such a fine Regency house, where visitors can learn about these great Cork people and their magnificent legacy. It is also appropriate that members of the original Smith Barry family of Fota are included in the collection”, he added. Other notable Cork people include private surgeon and physician to Napoleon Bonaparte; Canadian Prime Minister John Curtin and the composer of the Japanese National Anthem, John William Fenton from Kinsale”

Kevin Baird, Chief Executive of the Irish Heritage Trust said, “We are delighted that visitors to Fota House will have the opportunity to enjoy this fascinating collection, in addition to our collection of 18th and 19th century art. This exhibition continues our work to expand the range of things to do and see at Fota”.

Fota House has been described as a treasure trove of art and dates from the mid 1820’s. The house and grounds were developed by the Smith Barry family who arrived in the area in the late 12th century. Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens are under the care of the Irish Heritage Trust, a charity which was created in 2006 to care for historic properties, houses and gardens throughout Ireland. The house has recently undergone extensive restoration and regeneration, including the donation of a significant collection of paintings and furniture.

For more information on the collection please see or

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