Seán Keating RHA
Born in Limerick, Keating’s mother decided to send him to the Technical School in Limerick to study drawing. He then won a scholarship in 1911 to study at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art where he studied under Sir William Orpen. In 1914 he won the Taylor scholarship and went to visit the Aran Islands with his friend Harry Clarke. It was a turning point in his career as the islands and their inhabitants were to become the subjects of many of his paintings. In 1915 he succeeded in showing three of his paintings at the RHA and was elected an associate in 1919 and a full member in 1923. In 1919 he also began to teach at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art. He was represented at the Royal Academy in 1924 and continued to exhibit there for the next thirty years. He represented Ireland at the New York World’s Fair in 1939 with a huge mural while winning first prize at the same fair in an IBM competition from seventy-nine countries. He resigned from the presidency of the RHA in 1962 and the following year a retrospective exhibition was held at the Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, opened by President De Valera. As an artist and a teacher he always took a firm stand on the side of traditional painting and was outspoken in his rejection against the modern movement.