Like the houses that stand at their center, Ireland’s historic gardens have their own distinct character. The Irish house garden has been shaped by topography and a rainy climate, which allows not just indigenous plants but an enormous variety of imported species to flourish in the most unlikely settings.
In his talk, Robert O’Byrne will give an introduction to the history of the Irish country house garden, showing some of the finest examples across the island, and setting the scene for a spectacular exhibition on the same subject that he will be curating in Dublin in 2021.
Robert O’Byrne is one of Ireland’s best-known writers and lecturers specializing in the country’s fine and decorative arts and is the author of more than a dozen books, among them "Luggala: The Story of a Guinness House" and "Romantic Irish Homes." A former Vice President of the Irish Georgian Society, he is currently a trustee of the Apollo Foundation and the Artists Collecting Society.
He writes a monthly column for Apollo magazine and is also a contributor to The Burlington Magazine and the Irish Arts Review. Since 2012 he has written an award-winning blog, TheIrishAesthete.com, and a book of his photographs from this – "The Irish Aesthete: Ruins of Ireland" - was published in March 2019. For 2021, he is curating an exhibition, book, and television documentary examining the history and evolution of Ireland’s country house gardens.