The Yeats Sisters Inaugural Symposium

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The Yeats Sisters Inaugural Symposium

This symposium aims to celebrate the aesthetic and cultural contribution of the Yeats sisters, their enterprise and empowerment of women.

By The Yeats Sisters Commemoration Project

When and where

Date and time

Sat, 15 Jul 2023 10:00 - 17:00 IST


Taney Parish Centre Taney Road Dundrum Dublin Ireland

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About this event

  • 7 hours
  • Mobile eTicket

The symposium will examine the lives of Susan and Elizabeth Yeats: their art, making, and meaning; contextualise the Yeats sisters’ contribution to the Irish revival, mark the 120th anniversary of ‘In the Seven Woods’ a volume of poetry by W.B. Yeats - the first book made at the Dun Emer Press in 1903; the Embroiderer within the Arts and Crafts movement, and explore the Yeats sisters and their pioneering enterprises.

The Symposium will also facilitate an open, introductory workshop for participants to experience ‘the art of stitch’, in the style of the Yeats sisters, hosted by the Irish Guild of Embroiderers and Dublin Embroiderers Association, as well as a Walking Tour, led by local historian, John Lennon, through Dundrum and Churchtown, highlighting the places and settings central to the lives of the Sisters and their work.

While on Sunday 16th July, the anniversary publish date (16th July 1903) of the Dun Emer Press first book: In the Seven Woods, a one day workshop (an add-on charge: €25; booking essential) will be hosted by the National Print Museum. This workshop will give participants a little taste of the work and expertise put into each of the books and broadsides produced by Elizabeth Yeats and her associates at the Dun Emer and Cuala Press.

Participants will work with the museum’s collection to print a small book in the tradition of the Cuala Press. As a group, participants will each set a paragraph of type by hand, learn how to lock it up on a press, proof and print the pieces together to produce a small edition book. Each participant will receive a copy to take home.

The Yeats sisters with Evelyn Gleeson (seated, centre row) and the team of ‘working-girls’ at Dun Emer Industries.

Image courtesy of Trinity College Dublin, Digital Collections, Cuala Press Collection.


Morning session10.00: Registration/Coffee

10.30: Official Opening of the Commemoration Day

Followed by the opening lecture:‘Lily and Elizabeth Yeats: art, making, and meaning.’ Dr. Angela Griffith, Cuala Press Project, Schooner Foundation, TCD.

11.30: Contextualise the Yeats sisters’ contribution to the Irish revival.Dr. PJ Mathews (UCD)

12.00: The Art of the Book – marking their first publication ‘In the Seven Woods’ (16.07.1903) Dr. Lucy Collins, UCD and Mary Plunkett – Designer & Letterpress Printer.

13.00 -14.00: lunch period.

Afternoon session

14.00- 15.30: Two separate events

Lecture & workshop with Irish Guild of Embroiderers:

Dr Ann Wickham: ‘The Embroiderer within the Arts and Crafts movement’ followed by an introductory one hour workshop hosted by the Irish Guild of Embroiderers and Dublin Embroiderers Association.


A guided walking tour of Yeats’ life in Churchtown/Dundrum with John Lennon/Dundrum Historical Society and in collaboration with dlr Dundrum Library and the Church of Ireland Taney parish. To mark the occasion a flower bouquet will placed at the Sister’s grave in St Nahi’s churchgrounds.

16.00: Closing session‘The Yeats sisters and pioneering enterprises.’Dr Billy Shortall, Cuala Press Project, Schooner Foundation, TCD.

17.00 Close.

Each session will be chaired, followed by a Q&A.

Frequently asked questions

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