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MacCormack, Katherine

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Biography: Katherine MacCormack (1892-1975) was a designer who is best known for her work with Dun Emer Industries. The workshop was founded in 1902 by her aunt, Evelyn Gleeson (1855-1944), who MacCormack assisted to run it, eventually taking over from her aunt. Her work for Dun Emer concentrated on textile design, such as her tapestries for the Honan Chapel in Cork in 1917. MacCormack exhibited at the Oireachtas Art Exhibitions of 1911 and 1920 and from the 1920s she exhibited with the Watercolour Society of Ireland. MacCormack was involved in illustration from the 1910s, designing Christmas cards for Dun Emer Industries. In 1919, she provided illustrations for ‘The wisdom of the world: A book of wonder-tales’ by An Philibín (pseudonym of John Hackett Pollock, 1887-1964) published by the Candle Press, founded by Colm O'Lochlainn (1892–1972). For O'Lochlainn and the Candle Press, in 1920 MacCormack edited ‘The Book of St Ultan; a collection of pictures and poems by Irish artists and writers’, a richly illustrated publication which was sold to raise funds for St Ultan’s Hospital, located on Charlemont Street, Dublin. St Ultan’s was established in 1919 by Dr Kathleen Lynn (1874–1955) and Madeleine ffrench-Mullen (1880–1944) to address the social and health needs of working class women and children in inner city Dublin. Many of Ireland’s leading artists contributed illustrations including George Russell (A.E.), Thomas Bodkin, Harry Clarke, Beatrice Elvery, Paul Henry, Estella Solomons and Jack B. Yeats. MacCormack supplied two poems and illustrations to the publication.

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