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In the second half of the 19th century, the Arts and Crafts Movement set out to maintain traditional skills and workmanship threatened by the Industrial Revolution. In the case of print, increased demand for cheaper books led to declining standards and inferior materials. To counter this, small private presses were set up, producing books to a high standard and celebrating them as works of art.


In this talk, Mallory Horrill, Curator at both the William Morris Society and the Emery Walker House, will explore the Dun Emer Press (later known as the Cuala Press) a lesser-known press within the private press movement. Dun Emer Press was part of the Dun Emer Industries, a women’s craft co-operative set up by Eileen Gleeson together with Elizabeth and Lily Yeats (sisters of W.B. Yeats) to provide an education and teach skills that would lead to employment for Irish girls. The press was entirely female-run and played a key role in the Celtic revival. The talk will reflect upon the role of women in printing and William Morris’s role in the private press movement.

Dun Emer & Cuala: A Private Press Spotlight

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