The Celtic Knot Unraveled: Paintings by Deirdre McCullough Grunwald
at Highfield Hall & Gardens
August 31-October 31, 2019
FALMOUTH, MA— Highfield Hall & Gardens presents The Celtic Knot Unraveled: Paintings by Deirdre McCullough Grunwald from September 12-October 31.
Poet and artist, Deirdre McCullogh Grunwald (1946-2018) painted every day of her life. In the early 1980s, she viewed The Book of Kells in an exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. This visit created a turning point. For more than twenty years, Celtic patterns appeared in her paintings, inspired and influenced by her study and exploration of this masterwork that is widely regarded as Ireland’s finest national treasure.
The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript containing the four Gospels of the New Testament. Believed to have been created in Britain or Ireland circa 800 AD, it is known for its extravagance and complexity. It combines traditional Christian iconography with the ornate swirling motifs typical of Insular art. The vibrant pages are adorned with figures of humans, animals and mythical beasts along with Celtic knots and interlacing patterns.
The Celtic Knot Unraveled exhibit features 30 of Grunwald’s paintings based on her extensive study of these ancient patterns. Working in oil, tempera, collage and acrylics, her work is bold, colorful, and detailed. It’s abstract with a mystical essence. And, like Celtic mandalas, they are centered — each with a central point, contained inside an outer circle and extending to repeating patterns that create attractive designs.
Grunwald studied drawing and painting with Arlene Grossman and Celtic arts with Aidan Mann. In 1985, she illustrated the poems of Robert Lima, a professor at Penn State who taught Celtic knotting. Her first major Celtic show was held at the Aisling Gallery in Hingham, Mass. in 1991, followed by shows at The Brush Gallery in Lowell and the Newton Free Library. In her later years, Grunwald concentrated on the history of Lowell in her work. She enjoyed plein air painting on Martha’s Vineyard and at the Fruitlands Museum which exhibited her landscapes.
Her work is held in the collections of Fidelity, Enterprise Banks (Lowell), Fiduciary Trust (Lowell), and the Corporate Rental Program through the Cambridge Art Association.
This exhibit is organized by Arlene Hecht who represented Grunwald’s work for more than 20 years on Cape Cod.
The exhibit is included with admission to Highfield Hall. For additional information, visit highfieldhall.org or call 508.495.1878. Highfield Hall & Gardens is located at 56 Highfield Drive in Falmouth.