JEROME CONNOR [IRISH AMERICAN SCULPTOR 1874 – 1943]
Jerome Connor was a sculptor whose works are rooted, not in the Celtic Revival or Catholicism, but in the secular civic humanism of the USA.
He celebrated the heroes of America’s past and subjects which resonated with the Irish-American community. His work in Ireland related to the struggle for independence and to national cultural ideals. Connor was a realist sculptor whose work was at its best when modelled from life as in the two fishermen of his Lusitania Memorial, Cobh, Co. Cork.
After a National Gallery retrospective in 1993, a local initiative saw the lane next to his studio just off Infirmary Road, Dublin 7, renamed ‘Jerome Connor Place’, and a plaque erected, bearing his friend Patrick Kavanagh’s obituary poem: “He sits in a corner of my memory With his short pipe, holding it by the bowl, And his sharp eye and his knotty fingers And his laughing soul Shining through the gaps of his crusty wall”