Homan Potterton, Director 1980 - 1988

Homan Potterton, NGI Director 1980-1988

Homan Potterton was brought up at Rathcormick, the family farm in County Meath, and educated at Kilkenny College and Trinity College Dublin. After post-graduate studies in Edinburgh, he spent two years in the National Gallery of Ireland as temporary cataloguer before moving on to London to become Assistant Keeper at the National Gallery with special responsibility for the 17th and 18th Century Italian schools. Here he mounted a Painting in Focus exhibition on Caravaggio’s, Supper at Emmaus, in 1975, and a major exhibition of Venetian Seventeenth Century Painting in 1979. He published widely, but in London he became known particularly for his work on catalogues, which included the National Gallery’s essential Guide Book translated into five languages.  In 1980 he was appointed Director of the National Gallery of Ireland, a post he held until 1988. Cataloguing the collection would be one of his major concerns during his time as Director. He was editor of Irish Arts Review, 1993-2002 and has written several art books and catalogues as well as his memoir of growing up in Ireland in the 1950s, Rathcormack: A Childhood Recalled, (2001).  He is an honorary member of the Royal Hibernian Academy.