National Gallery of Ireland ~ Turner Exhibition

Yesterday, I was struck by discovering that November 3o was a highly significant date in the lives of two of the world’s most quoted people: Mark Twain, who was born on November 30 in 1835 and Oscar Wilde, who died on November 30 in 1900.

You might well wonder what all this has to do with the National Gallery of Ireland and the Turner Exhibition which takes place there every January.

Well, for me, the link between all three is my late father. He absolutely loved quick wit and  always had a few books of ‘quotable quotes’ close at hand.  The tougher the situation, the more he leaned into these books to garner a chuckle or nugget of inspiration.

I remember well sitting by his hospital bed in Coronary Care waiting for him to wake up.  I was flicking through one of his ‘old companions’ and found myself  totally captivated by the quotes that he had marked. He woke to find me with a big smile on my face and wanted to know what was so funny. I began reading some of the quotes to him and soon we were both laughing with sufficient gusto to entice a nurse over to us. Her words: ‘ You two know how to enjoy yourselves ~ would you like a cup of tea?’  Always one with a sweet tooth, Father seized his moment and said: ‘ Oh, tea would be lovely especially with a few chocolate biscuits!’  The tea and biscuits arrived in jig time!

So, yesterday on learning it was Mark Twain’s birthday, I went to one of  Father’s trusty books of quotable quotes and had a look to see what quotes he had earmarked.  This was the one that jumped out at me:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things  you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the  bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  

 ( Mark Twain)

This quote immediately brought the paintings of J.M.W. Turner into my mind and how Father had introduced me to the January Exhibition of Turner’s work at the National Gallery of Ireland.  What an antidote to post-Christmas blues! I’m already planning January’s trip ~ and yes, I will Explore, Dream and Discover!  Discover the National Gallery of Ireland and its Collections

A Windy Day(J.M.W. Turner)
A Windy Day
(J.M.W. Turner)

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

8 thoughts on “National Gallery of Ireland ~ Turner Exhibition”

  1. J.M.W. Turner, “painter of light” is one of my favorite painters and has been for a long time. His grand swirls of light and paint were the precursor to Impressionism. How wonderful that you get to go see his work at the National Gallery!

    Favorite Oscar Wilde quote:” Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.” 😉

  2. Hi Jean, I really enjoyed your writing which a great friend and colleague of mine, who I believe studied under your guidance, forwarded to me. I could visualise you sitting at your father’s bedside, laughing aloud together. What lovely memories to have.

    I’m meant to be drafting my first every essay to critique some research, but am happy to “explore, dream and discover” for a few moments. I love the wisdom that comes from good quotes. I came across a quote from John Masterson recently and thought it similar to your theme of Social Bridges. It goes as follows “The good words – me, us and our – are three words that bridge the gap between I and you and highlight the common ground we may share”. Thanks for lifting my study worn spirits!

    1. Marie, many thanks for writing. Yes, I am very fortunate to have such great memories!
      I love the quote from John Masterson. I hadn’t come across it before.
      All the best with your studies and I hope you ‘discover; within them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: