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Harry Clarke's War

Ireland's Memorial Records are well known for their content: the names of 49,435 people of Irish affiliation who were killed or died of wounds in the First World War, contained within eight volumes. Less known - if known at all - is the history of the elaborate page decorations from the Records, which were the work of the celebrated Irish stained-glass artist and illustrator Harry Clarke. Drawing from published and unpublished sources, this beautifully presented book tells the story of how the Records were commissioned and created, and in effect illuminating the work of Harry Clarke as a war artist. Marguerite Helmers records the process that led to the Records being commissioned by the Lord Lieutenant, Field Marshal Sir John French, through to the eventual placement of the Records within the Irish National War Memorial at Islandbridge. But beneath the history lies an important and overdue investigation of the cultural memory of the First World War and the spaces within which that war is memorialized.With the renowned Harry Clarke at centre stage, the Records and their genesis are of vital importance to our understanding of how art and commemoration can come together in a powerful visual creation.
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