Archive for June, 2014

Bank of America Merrill Lynch Announces TCD Library as a 2014 Art Conservation Project Grant Recipient

June 24th, 2014

Susie Bioletti of TCD and Peter Keegan of Bank of America Merrill Lynch view ‘The Book of Dimma’ the ‘Garland of Howth’ and the ‘Book of Mulling’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Business to Arts member (and New Stream sponsor) Bank of America Merrill Lynch recently announced that Trinity College Dublin Library will receive funding to conserve, research and digitise four early Irish manuscripts through the company’s 2014 global Art Conservation Project. Since 2010, Bank of America Merrill Lynch has provided grants to museums in 27 countries supporting 71 conservation projects. Once conserved the manuscripts will be made available via Trinity College Dublin Library’s digital collections and exhibited alongside the Book of Kells, the Book of Durrow and the Book of Armagh at Trinity College Dublin Library.

The grant will fund the treatment, technical examination, digitisation and art historical study of four of Trinity College Dublin Library’s most important early medieval Irish manuscripts, the Codex Usserianius Primus, the Garland of Howth, the Book of Dimma, and the Book of Mulling. These, along with the Book of Kells, the Book of Durrow and the Book of Armagh, make up the preeminent collection of early Christian book art in the Library.

  • The Codex Usserianius Primus is the earliest known surviving Irish manuscript, dating back to the fifth century. It is recorded as an incomplete copy of the four Gospels on parchment.
  • The Book of Dimma is a late eighth century manuscript on parchment, possibly produced at Roscrea, Co. Tipperary. It contains a copy of the four Gospels along with later tenth or eleventh century additions. The manuscript includes illuminated initials and portraits of the evangelists executed in red, yellow, blue and black pigments.
  • The Book of Mulling is an eighth century pocket-gospel, with ninth century additions that is associated with the monastery of St Mullins in Co. Carlow. It contains a copy of the four Gospels, and features portraits of the evangelists Matthew, Mark and John, together with illuminated initials.
  • The Garland of Howth is an eighth century parchment manuscript associated with St Nessan’s monastery on Ireland’s Eye and contains a copy of the four gospels. It features portraits of the evangelists and elaborated initials, with orange, white, yellow and blue pigments.

Susie Bioletti, head of Conservation at Trinity College Dublin Library said, “This is the single most generous grant ever bestowed on the Library for the conservation of early Irish manuscripts, and we are extremely grateful for the opportunity it now affords us to concentrate our attention on  four of our great treasures. Bank of America Merrill Lynch is to be applauded for this award to fund the preservation of these precious manuscripts that form such an important part of Irish heritage. Their grant will enable scholarship and public engagement with the manuscripts as we share these national treasures with our Irish and global visitors.”

“Our Art Conservation Project is designed not only to conserve artworks and shine a light on the need for the preservation of artistic and historic treasures, but also to educate communities, and convey respect for the varied cultures and traditions throughout the world,” said Andrea Sullivan, head of Corporate Social Responsibility for EMEA at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Speaking today, Peter Keegan, country executive for Ireland at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, added, “We are honoured to help conserve these important Irish Medieval manuscripts, with such cultural and historical significance to Ireland, through funding from our global Art Conservation Project. When complete, they will feature for the first time in a new display alongside the Book of Kells at the Trinity College Dublin Library, making them accessible for future generations of students, historians and visitors to appreciate and enjoy. It gives us great pleasure to work with Trinity College Dublin and expand our long-term programme of arts support in Ireland”.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s support of the arts is integral to its Corporate Social Responsibility programme, reflecting the company’s belief that art is a powerful tool that helps economies to thrive, individuals to connect across cultures, and educates and enriches societies. The company extends its commitment by helping advance opportunities for young people through education outreach and public access initiatives. The company has a strong history of supporting the arts in Ireland, a country in which it has done business for more than 45 years.

Other recent Art Conservation Projects in Ireland include the restoration of four portraits by John Butler Yeats at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, and the preservation of Daniel Maclise’s monumental Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife at the National Gallery of Ireland. The company also sponsors New Stream, a very successful programme managed by Business to Arts, which provides training, skilling and mentoring for arts professionals across Ireland, helping them to fundraise more effectively.

In 2011 Bank of America Merrill Lynch partnered with The Chester Beatty Library, Dublin to present an exhibition of art books by Henri Matisse, marking the first public display of these works in Europe. The exhibition featured four of Matisse’s most artistically-significant books, including Jazz, on loan from the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Collection (May – September 2011). Previous exhibitions curated from the Bank of America Merrill Lynch collection include Conversations: Photography from the Bank of America Collection which showed at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (February – May 2012)

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