Maurice Craig

Fifty Years of Photographing Architecture

Maurice Craig was born in Belfast in 1919 and was educated at Castle Park, Dalkey and Shrewsbury School before going on to Magdalene College, Cambridge and Trinity College, Dublin.

He has written on subjects as diverse as Irish bookbindings, biography, poetry, and topography, but it is for his books on architectural subjects that he is best known. His seminal Dublin 1660 – 1860 appeared in 1952 and was followed by further ground-breaking works including Classic Irish Houses of the Middle Size and The Architecture of Ireland from the Earliest Times to 1880.

Maurice’s interest in and understanding of architecture is apparent in his photography. Since first taking up his camera in the 1940s Maurice has recorded buildings of all types and periods. He has an instinctive ability to select what is important for one reason or another, be it unique, quirky or vulnerable. This keen observation of architecture from the serious to the whimsical is tempered by wit and humanity. Maurice’s photographs convey a rich texture of time and place. They bring buildings and streets alive, conveying the atmosphere of an Ireland of the past and a society now as radically altered as many of the buildings themselves.

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In 2001 Maurice placed the many thousands of images in his architectural photograph collection on deposit at the Irish Architectural Archive, an institution with which he has been actively involved since its foundation in 1976.

It is to be hoped that this small selection, personally chosen and annotated by Maurice, will serve to bring his pioneering record to a wider audience and may encourage others to follow Maurice’s example, to observe and appreciate the buildings around them.

This exhibition has been made possible through the generous sponsorship of John Paul Construction and the expertise of Davison & Associates.

The Irish Architectural Archive’s exhibitions programme is supported by Michael McNamara & Co., Pierse Contracting Ltd and John Sisk & Son Ltd.