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Showing posts from June, 2023

Kathleen Trousdell Shaw: A Woman Among Men

We love disovering new things about the heritage and art collections in RCSI. Just a few months ago, we learned that the bust of Dr John Denham (PRCSI 1873) in our portrait sculpture collection was created by Anglo-Irish sculptor Kathleen Trousdell Shaw (1865-1958).  Shaw's bust of Denham is remarkable not just for its exquisite detail but for the fact that it is the only bust in the historical art collections known to have been created by a woman. But why didn't we know this beforehand? When we talk about our painted and sculptural portrait collections, our focus has tended to be on the sitter. Who was this person? What was their contribution to RCSI or to surgery and medicine more generally? What does their portrait say about them? As we continue to interrogate our collections, however, this focus is shifting to include the story of the artists that created these pieces. Kathleen Trousdell Shaw's artist inscription on the Denham bust is simply 'K.T. Shaw, 1889'. T