The world of Mildred Anne Butler

    THE annual Dr Walter Walsh Memorial Lecture is on October 12 at 8pm in Thomastown Community Centre.

    The subject of this year’s lecture in the Dúchas Tullaherin Heritage Society lecture is the renowned watercolourist Mildred Anne Butler.

    The talk will be by Dr Tom Duffy, Institute of Art, Design, and Technology, Dún Laoghaire whose intention it is to publish a book on this famous Thomastown person. All are welcome.

    Mildred Anne was born and lived most of her life at Kilmurry near Thomastown.

    Besides her work as a painter, she was an active member of the Church of Ireland community where, along with her sister, she was in charge of church music.

    In 1901 they presented St Mary’s with an American Organ which in later times was sold to the Methodist Church in Kilkenny, but is back in St Mary’s, now a private residence.

    Mildred Anne Butler was a prolific artist, with themes of nature and scenes of domesticity featuring greatly in her works.

    Unlike many artists, she achieved fame in her own lifetime and exhibited in the principal galleries in Ireland and England.

    In 1893 she became a member of the Royal Academy and in 1896 as associate member of the Royal Watercolour Society.

    Her work, The Morning Bath, was the first work by a female artist to be purchased by the trustees of the Chantrey Bequest and was then presented to the Tate Gallery.

    On her death in 1941, aged 83, she was buried in the family plot in the St Mary’s Graveyard, Market Street, Thomastown. The grave is situated just to the east of the ruins.