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Category: Exhibition

Mamlujo: Finnegans Wake as a Work in Progress

The first extract of what was to become Finnegans Wake (1939) was published in April 1924 in the short-lived journal The Transatlantic Review, edited by Ford Madox Ford. This was a version of what is now Part II, Chapter 4 of the book, pages 383-399. It deal with “Mamlujo” (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), the four evangelists, old men who are historians, like the Four Masters, and chroniclers. They are also the four provinces of Ireland. They are tired, ancient, jealous of the young, and also very boring in their rambling recollections of the past. (Some would say that Joyce was rather too successful in conveying the boring quality of their discourse.)

Joyce was determined not to give the book’s title away until the very last minute, so Ford gave the passage the name “Extract from A Work in Progress.” Joyce liked the term, and it became the working title for the book during the many subsequent years before it finally appeared. Most of Finnegans Wake had already appeared in print by the time it was published in book form in 1939 by Faber & Faber. Most of the earlier parts of the work had been published in installments, either in magazines or as short books or pamphlets. This practice began quite early on in the book’s writing. Joyce had apparently originally been averse to it, but it must have been fairly clear that so long a span of time – some 17 years – could not be allowed to pass without some passages from the work appearing in print.

Mamlujo: Finnegans Wake as a Work in Progress is a collection of the various installments in honour of the 100th anniversary of the first one. Displayed in the gorgeous Maginni Room, visitors will get to see first-hand how Work in Progress evolved. Its staggered publication throughout the 1920s and 1930s are laid bare in a series of original copies of journals, pamphlets, and booklets. From the first “Mamlujo” episode of 1924 to “A Phoenix Park Nocturne” in 1938, the exhibition has an array of rare texts and illustrations. Included are reactions to Work in Progress, such as Our Exagmination Round His Incamination of Work in Progress (1929), illustrations by Joyce’s daughter Lucia and Stella Steyn, a signed copy by Joyce of Anna Livia Plurabelle (1929), and items from the Frank Budgen Collection. This is an extraordinary opportunity to learn about the public publication and private development of Joyce’s last novel.

The James Joyce Centre to thank Terence Killeen for his kind assistance to the exhibition.

Image: From the cover of The Mime of Mick, Nick and the Maggies (1934), a fragment of Work in Progress. Cover illustration by Lucia Joyce.

Tickets are €7 general, €5 concession. The exhibition is included in admission to the James Joyce Centre.

Modality of the Visible Ulysses VR Exhibition Premiere

Come join us at the James Joyce Centre for the highly anticipated premiere of new exhibition Modality of the Visible: Ulysses VR for the Bloomsday Festival. Step into the world of James Joyce’s masterpiece like never before with cutting-edge virtual reality technology. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of Dublin as you follow in the footsteps of Leopold Bloom.

Modality of the Visible: Ulysses VR is an immersive VR project that takes you on a journey through the Dublin of 1904 so beautifully described in Joyce’s novel. The project aims to educate, entertain, and familiarise viewers with Joyce’s text in an interative and visual way. Using state-of-the-art VR headset technology, you will be able to mount the gunrest of the Martello Tower, walk along Eccles Street, hang around the gentlemen at Barney Kiernan’s, and explore other settings of Ulysses. The purpose of this project is to merge the world of literature with an increasingly technological world. With an experimental design approach, Ulysses VR offers a novel understanding of Joyce’s writing, creating a unique learning experience in an immersive virtual environment.

The exhibition will be on permanent display at the James Joyce Centre. The project was developed by a team of Greek programmers and academics in collaboration with the University of Patras. We will be joined by Thanos Makris, the creator and project coordinator of Ulysses VR, and Christina Vassilaki, a project officer. Prof. Ahuvia Kahane (Department of Classics, Trinity College Dublin) will deliver a talk about the classical and contemporary Greek references in Ulysses. The attendees, of course, will be welcome to try out the headset for themselves!

Trailer for Ulysses VR:

The event is free but booking is essential.

Ulysses: Illustrations

This art exhibition presents more than 100 illustrations by French artist Rémi Rousseau. The exhibition offers a visual depiction of Ulysses and are arranged in chronological order.

This book is disconcerting. It disorientates the reader over the course of a single day in the always-crowded Dublin city, in its blackened houses and streets of brick and cobble-stones, and in its cemeteries where you can come alone to finish sleeping off the tumultous events of yesterday.

Maybe you have to find your way by following the town’s canal-locks, where dark peat has tinted the waters that will become the Liffey.
Go to the brothel, to the pub or to the nursery, go to school, to the print-shop, the library or the church.

All you need to do to find your way is to follow the canal-locks, then the Liffey where it meets the sea and write at a distance in time, with the memory of a coastal tower that nails the town down to the ocean’s shore, and finally sign off with a cross – a James the right way up and an upside-down Joyce – like a Christ crucified in the peat-bog, in the black marshland, in majesty. Dublin on the horizon. One day in June 1904.

In the hope of encouraging to read this book to people other than those who already believe in the Joycean shooting-star, here are some 100 illustrations following the chronological order of the text.

Tickets are €7 general, €5 concession. The exhibition is included in admission to the James Joyce Centre.

Art Exhibition by Grégoire Mathias

Grégoire Mathias (ENSBA), official artist of the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA), will be showcasing his latest works at Howbert & Mays, 16 Clare Street, Dublin 2, from May 16th to June 22nd.

This premiere exhibition is hosted by Howbert & Mays at their 16 Clare Street location. Their predecessor was the well-known Greene’s bookshop, an establishment visited by multiple generations of Irish authors, and nestled amid significant Joycean landmarks. So to honour this literary heritage, Greg Mathias, whose father was an antiquarian bookseller, is preparing a special painting in homage to Joyce’s Ulysses.

The artist, whose daughter studies in Blackrock, depicts Ireland through the lens of his innovative cubist style, known as Diachronic Cubism. The exhibition will unveil his latest works, inspired by his travels in Ireland, showing landscapes, still lifes and muses of the Arts alongside works of French and Italian influences. In addition it will feature some prints by Roderic O’Conor, who greatly influenced Mathias early in his career.

Mathias, along with Howbert & Mays owners, Anthea Howbert and Tig Mays, are proud to present this exhibition in a spirit of a convergence of art and literature.

The exhibition premiere will take place on Thursday, May 16th at 6pm. The artist will also be available for a meet-and-greet session on Sunday, May 19th from 3 to 5pm. He will return for Bloomsday, Sunday, June 16th.

Regular exhibition hours:

Monday to Saturday: 10.00am to 6.00pm

Sundays and Bank Holidays: 11.00am to 5.00pm

The exhibition is free. No booking is necessary. For more information, visit Howbert & Mays’ website at

Pink is My Colour

In her excellent essay “A Cultural History of Pink – Just in Time for the Pinkest Summer Ever” for Sotheby (28 July 2023), Valerie Steele wrote:

“…in recent years hip hop has had the greatest influence on pink in popular culture. In addition to the female rappers, such as Lil’ Kim, Rihanna, and Nicki Minaj, there are a host of male rappers who wear pink, beginning with Big Boi who wore pink to the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards. Kanye West adopted neo-preppy pink polos, while Pharrell wore the Japanese brand A Bathing Ape, which popularized pink camouflage for men…”

Pink is my colour is a group show featuring work by artists invited by Olivier Cornet or artists his gallery represents or works with on a regular basis: Hugh Cummins, David Fox, Kelly Ratchford, Mary A. Fitzgerald, Nickie Hayden, Eoin Mac Lochlainn, Yanny Petters, Sheila Naughton, Bernadette Doolan and Hannah Ní Mhaonaigh to name a few. Beyond the usual cliches — or their unmasking — about gender, states of mind and people’s general attitudes to life, this show invites the viewer to look at how artists use the colour pink in their work, a colour that is quite rare in nature except in flowers. This is an exhibition that also purports to outline the power of words and how they can influence the way we look at things, even when taking a closer — or seemingly carefree — look at artworks. Just like James Joyce’s Ulysses and its colourful characters, this exhibition promises to bring out a rich array of bold and wonderful tones.


9 June to 31 July 2024
Official Launch: 3 pm, Sunday 9 June 2024
9 June: 12 noon to 5pm
10 June: closed
11 June: 11am to 6pm
12 June 11am to 6pm
13 June 11am to 8pm
14 June 11am to 6pm
15 June 12 noon to 5pm
16 June 12 noon to 5pm

For more information, please visit Olivier Cornet’s website.

Image: Mary A. Fitzgerald, Cave-dwellers (detail), acrylic on canvas, 100x100cm

Bloomsday at Marsh’s Library

”… the stagnant bay of Marsh’s library where you read the fading prophecies of Joachim Abbas…” Ulysses

While waiting for his exam results from University College (now University College Dublin), 20 year-old James Joyce visited Marsh’s Library on the 22nd and 23rd of October 1902. He wrote down his address as “7 St Peter’s Terrace, Cabra.” For two days during the Bloomsday Festival, Marsh’s library will have that visitors’ book on display along with the volume of the prophecies of Joachim Abbas that Joyce mentioned in Ulysses. The furniture in the Old Reading Room of the library has not been replaced since. Visitors will be able to see the table where James Joyce/Stephen Dedalus would have consulted the book. The 1589 Venice edition gives the text of the 30 prophecies in Latin and Italian, with an accompanying commentary and an engraving for each. Legend has it, that it was W.B. Yeats who recommended the rare book to Joyce and told him to find it in Marsh’s library.

Tickets are €7 general, €4 concession. Free entry for under 18s and those in receipt of social welfare. Tickets are available online or at the door.

To see the online exhibition James Joyce: Apocalypse and Medievalism in Marsh’s Library, click here.


Friday, June 14, 9:30am – 5:00pm
Saturday, June 15, 10:00am – 5:00pm

Bloomsday at the James Joyce Centre

The James Joyce Centre welcomes you to its doors to celebrate the greatest time of the year, Bloomsday!

The James Joyce Centre is proud to organise the Bloomsday Festival on behalf of the city of Dublin. As a token of our appreciation to Dublin and all the participants of Bloomsday, we will be open free of charge on Sunday, June 16th. Come see Leopold Bloom’s door from No. 7 Eccles Street, where it all began. Browse our exhibitions, parlour rooms, and interactive guides to Joyce’s life and work. Marvel at the beautifully preserved 18th century townhouse, a stunning example of high Georgian architecture. See the Maginni Room, named after “Mr Denis J Maginni, prof. of dancing & co.,” the real-life dance instructor who used the room as his dance studio and is mentioned in Ulysses! There will be readings, talks, music, and fun throughout the day!

Feel free to dress up in your finest bowler hats and Edwardian garb as you join visitors from around the world for an unparalled literary occassion. For more information, visit our website at

We hope to see you there!

Ulysses: An Odyssey by Suzanne Freeman

Ulysses: An Odyssey is a visual introduction to the story, characters, and themes of Ulysses. Suzanne Freeman recreates each episode of Ulysses in a series of 18 display cases that reference prominent motifs, objects, and locations. From Stephen’s Martello tower key in ‘Telemachus’ to Bloom’s cigar in ‘Cyclops’ and a map of the 19 intersecting vignettes in ‘Wandering Rocks,’ Ulysses: An Odyssey is a stunning visual depiction of the novel, one that showcases the mundane objects of everyday life on June 16th, 1904 with vibrancy and clarity.

The exhibition is included in admission to the James Joyce Centre. Tickets are €7 general, €5 concession. Tickets can be purchased online or at the reception desk.

The James Joyce Centre is open 11-16 June, 10:30am to 4:30pm.