“The Widow and the Grave Digger.” Water color by Norah McGuinnes.
Norah Allison McGuinness (b. November 7, 1901 in Derry – November 22, 1980 in Dún Laoghaire) was an Irish painter and illustrator.
McGuinness designed sets and costumes for the Abbey Theatre and its experimental Peacock Theatre, for example, for the 1926 premiere of W. B. Yeats’ Deirdre.
Contact with the École de Paris in 1929 strongly influenced her painting style, and she introduced some elements of Fauvism and Cubism. However, her main subjects remained still lifes, seascapes, landscapes and portraits.
From Paris she moved to London, where she was a member of Lucy Wertheim’s Twenties Group and the avant-garde London Group. She was a co-founder of the Irish Exhibition of Living Art and, after the death of Mainie Jellett in 1944, became first Elected Chairman and then President from 1948 to 1972.
Together with Nano Reid she represented Ireland at the Biennale di Venezia in 1950. It was the first time that Ireland participated in this international exhibition.
Trinity College Dublin’s Douglas Hyde Gallery hosted an extensive retrospective of her work in 1968, and the college awarded her an honorary doctorate in 1973.