Harry Clarke's Geneva Window
Marie T. Mullan
The Geneva Window, renowned for its superb artistry and craftsmanship, celebrates the novels, poems and plays of the Irish Literary Revival. It was the work of Harry Clarke, Ireland’s most famous stained glass artist.
Commissioned by the Irish government as a gift to the International Labour office in Geneva, the window was initially accepted by the Government on its completion in 1930, but rejected a few days later as ‘unrepresentative’ of the Irish people and even labelled ‘indecent’. This had serious emotional consequences for Harry, a situation made worse when he died a few months later.
The window was returned to the Clarke studio, where it remained until 1988 when it was exhibited in London. It was then sold to the Wolfsonian Museum in Miami, Florida, and is now valued at millions of dollars.
Exiled from Ireland tells the tragic story of this stunning window, examines the eight panels that comprise it and discusses the fifteen literary works by authors such as Yeats, Joyce and O’Casey that inspired each panel.