The Garden Cart by Mildred Ann Butler, Kilmurry House, Thomastown
Tha annual Dúchas (Tullaherin Heritage Society) Dr Walter Walsh Memorial Lecture takes place in the Community Centre, Thomastown on Friday at 8pm.
This year’s talk is ‘Mildred Anne Butler and her World’ which will highlight the life and work of the renowned Thomastown-born watercolour painter.
It will be given by Dr Tom Duffy, art historian, lecturer and Coordinator of the Arts Programme at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dún Laoghaire.
Mildred Anne Butler was born in 1858 at Kilmurry House, near Thomastown, which is still inhabitated.
.She trained as an artist in London and while there got to know some of the leading painters of her day.
She is mainly remembered for her nostalgic depictions of cattle grazing and lying in the fields, of peacocks wandering on the lawns and of the flower beds and borders in her beloved Kilmurry.
A recurring theme throughout her life was her depiction of crows. Many of these paintings, unlike the rest of her work, were quite menacing.
They also had a symbolic meaning and are now very highly regarded. She achieved great commercial success during her lifetime and exhibited regularly in the leading galleries in London including the Royal Academy.
She died at Kilmurry in 1941. After her death her reputation faded somewhat.
A studio sale in 1981 organised by Christies auction house changed all of this. She is now highly sought after and her paintings.