Romantic Irish Country Houses with Robert O’Byrne
Hosted by the New Orleans Chapter
What is it that gives the Irish house such a distinctive character? Why should its personality—and that of its owners—be so often idiosyncratic and even downright eccentric? And how is it that despite the country’s recent economic boom, there remain plenty of houses where shabby chic has been the norm for generations? In a talk as amusing as it is informative and mixing history with anecdote, well-known author Robert O’Byrne offers a guide to some of Ireland’s least familiar but most unusual houses. These include the family home whose present occupant has rescued everything connected with his ancestors—including their tombstones. And the house where so much plaster had already fallen off the walls that its owner simply took a hammer to clear away what remained. Then there is the stately home where the maid reputedly fell through the ceiling—but landed safely on the dining room table. After listening to Robert O’Byrne not everyone will necessarily want to live in an Irish house, but his introduction to their history and unique characteristics is certain to entertain and enlighten.
Robert O’Byrne is a writer and lecturer specializing in the fine and decorative arts. He is the author of more than a dozen books, among them Luggala Days: The Story of a Guinness House, The Last Knight: A Tribute to Desmond FitzGerald, 29th Knight of Glin, Romantic Irish Homes and Romantic English Homes. A retired Vice-President of the Irish Georgian Society and trustee of the Alfred Beit Foundation, he is currently a trustee of the Apollo Foundation and the Artists Collecting Society. Among other work he writes a monthly column for Apollo magazine, and is also a regular contributor to The Burlington Magazine and the Irish Arts Review. For the past five years Mr. O'Byrne has written an award-winning blog, www.theirishaesthete.com.
To register: Please call Kayla Smith at 212-480-2889, ext. 201 or visit www.royal-oak.org/events. Please use the code ICAAL19 to receive the discounted co-sponsor price.
Please note that this event is co-hosted by the Royal Oak Foundation. Registration for the event is through the Royal Oak Foundation website. If you are an ICAA member and would like to take advantage of the member discount, please call 212-730-9646 ext. 112 for the event discount code.