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‘Some master of design’: W.B. Yeats and the Free State Coinage

‘Some master of design’: W.B. Yeats and the Free State Coinage This article examines W.B. Yeats's role in the design of the Irish Free State coinage that was introduced in 1928. From 1926–28, Yeats served as chairman of the committee charged with soliciting and selecting designs for the first Irish coins produced since 1822. The article documents unpublished correspondence from Yeats and archival material that elucidates the deliberations of the coinage committee as well as the poet's wider ideas about the visual and material culture of the new Irish state. The unsuccessful designs by international artists provide insights into the aesthetic debates and intentions behind the coins, connecting Yeats's A Vision (1925) to his account of the deliberations, printed in the government's Coinage of Saorstát Éireann (1928). The final section turns to Yeats's poems about coins where he conceives of the coin as a visual arts medium of portraiture or as a durable talisman, recording and transmitting ancient myths to modern times. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Modernist Cultures Edinburgh University Press

‘Some master of design’: W.B. Yeats and the Free State Coinage

Modernist Cultures , Volume 15 (4): 24 – Nov 1, 2020

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2041-1022
eISSN
1753-8629
DOI
10.3366/mod.2020.0309
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article examines W.B. Yeats's role in the design of the Irish Free State coinage that was introduced in 1928. From 1926–28, Yeats served as chairman of the committee charged with soliciting and selecting designs for the first Irish coins produced since 1822. The article documents unpublished correspondence from Yeats and archival material that elucidates the deliberations of the coinage committee as well as the poet's wider ideas about the visual and material culture of the new Irish state. The unsuccessful designs by international artists provide insights into the aesthetic debates and intentions behind the coins, connecting Yeats's A Vision (1925) to his account of the deliberations, printed in the government's Coinage of Saorstát Éireann (1928). The final section turns to Yeats's poems about coins where he conceives of the coin as a visual arts medium of portraiture or as a durable talisman, recording and transmitting ancient myths to modern times.

Journal

Modernist CulturesEdinburgh University Press

Published: Nov 1, 2020

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