Eleanor Harbison (1922 - 2007)

Eleanor Harbison was born on the 14th September 1922 to the sound of gunfire of the civil war in Ireland. Her mother had come to Dublin from Wexford to the nursing home in Fitzwilliam Street.


The eldest of six sisters and one brother, Eleanor grew up in Wexford and Rosslare.

Starting to paint at a very young age with the encouragement of her Aunt Agnes. On leaving Mount Anville School, Dundrum, Co. Dublin school she attended the School of Art in Kildare street Dublin and afterwards at the Goldsmith College of Art, London and the Slade.

After returning to Ireland in the late 40’s Eleanor joined Irish Mouldex in Wexford, a firm that designed and made rubber and plastic flooring. She designed their leaflets and floors in banks and pubs. In the 1950’s Eleanor got all sorts of work from murals in Whites Hotel, Wexford to stamps and illustrations for the magazine 'Ireland of the Welcomes'.

Eleanor’s first of many solo exhibitions followed. And she was also very much involved in the Wexford Festival at this time organising Art exhibitions for the Festival.

Eleanor’s first home was in Blackrock, Co Dublin and during those years her works focused on still life, portraiture and life drawing. In 1992 she moved to Caherdaniel Co Kerry where she had a purpose built studio for teaching and working now extending to landscapes and seascapes.

Eleanor worked in multiples of Mediums including, Pastels, Oils, Watercolour, gouache and acrylic. Her favoured medium was pastel.

Her works are in many private collections both in Ireland and abroad.

Eleanor was a Member of the Water Colour Society of Ireland and the Dublin Sketching Club, She exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy’s annual exhibitions on many occasions.


Eleanor was working the day before she died on the 30th of May 2007 aged 84 years.

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