[Photo: The Irish Times 1952]​

Evie Hone (1894 –1955) aka Eva Sydney Hone RHA, was an outstanding religious painter of modern Ireland and a stained glass artist of international stature. Born in Dublin, she came from an established Anglo-Irish family of distinguished Irish artists; Nathaniel Hone RHA (1831-1917) was her uncle. Evie Hone was one of the original abstract painters in Irish Art History.  A semi-invalid, her story is one of extraordinary courage, artistic genius and spiritual quest.

DUBLIN > SWITZERLAND

Evie, the youngest of four girls, was born in Dublin in 1894. Her mother died two days after her birth. She grew up in Clonskeagh, Dublin. Age 12, she contracted infantile paralysis which affected one of her hands and also left her lame. She went to Switzerland for treatment, but her disabilities remained. She did her best to overcome them and bore her disability, without complaint, throughout her life.

LONDON > PARIS

After WWI, she went to London where she studied art at a number of schools, including the Westminster School of Art.  In 1920, Bernard Meninsky advised her to study in Paris and Hone was joined there by Mainie Jellett (1897-1944) who became a life long friend.  They worked in Paris, under the Cubist painter Albert Gleizes, until 1931.

Gleizes wrote later that the gentle tenacity of Hone and Jellett had terrified him into teaching them, and that they had helped him to clarify the artistic theories which he set out in his influential book Peinture et ses lois (1922).

Parisian Cubism marks all of Hone's paintings until the early 1930s. These early paintings are often difficult to distinguish from those of Jellett, but Hone had a more committed sense of colour. Her Abstract-Maternité is a rich and splendid piece. In 1924, Hone and Jellett exhibited at the Dublin Painters' Gallery and met with conservative incomprehension from Irish art critics and the RHA (Royal Hibernian Academy). 

DUBLIN

Dublin had an international reputation in stained glass thanks to An Túr Gloine, the cooperative founded by Sarah Purser in 1903. Hone studied stained glass under Wilhelmina Geddes and in 1933 joined An Túr Gloine, where she worked until it dissolved in 1943.  Her first commission was at Ardcarne Church of Ireland (near Boyle), followed by St. Naithi's RC Church in Dundrum, Co. Dublin in 1934. She converted to Catholicism in 1937. 

One of her most important works My Four Green Fields (depicting the four provinces of Ireland) won first prize for stained glass in the 1939 New York World's Fair. (It can now be found in Government Buildings, Dublin). In 1943, she was a founder member of the Irish Exhibition of Living Art. In 1944, Hone established her own studio at Marlay Grange, Rathfarnham, just south of Dublin and lost her friend, Mainie Jellett (1897-1944) that same year.

In 1949 she was commissioned to create a huge 9-light depiction of the Crucifixion in the Eaton College Chapel East Window ( installed in 52) which brought her international recognition. She was impartial to her works leaving Ireland though, which explains why most of her work can be found in churches here. Some of her best known work can be found at: 

  • Howth Catholic Church,

  • Portobello Barracks Chapel,

  • Clongowes Wood School Chapel,

  • Blackrock College Chapel, Dublin (1937–41),

  • Rockwell College Chapel, Tipperary, 

  • Loughrea Cathedal (1942),

  • Church of St. Peter and Paul, Athenry, Co. Galway, in 1946,

  • St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, Co. Offaly (1942),

  • Church of the Immaculate Conception, Kingscourt, Co. Cavan (1947–48),

  • University Hall Chapel, Hatch Street, Dublin (1947), 

  • Jesuit Church in Gardiner Street, Dublin, 

  • Manresa Retreat House, Dollymount, Dublin. 

In 1953, the year she was awarded an honorary doctorate by Trinity College Dublin. Hone was descended from a remarkable family of Flemish artists who settled in Britain and Ireland in the 16th and 17th centuries. One of them, Galyon Hone, completed the windows for King's College in Cambridge. The painter Nathaniel Hone (1718–1784) was another of her ancestors. One of her last windows was for St. Michael's Church, Highgate, London (1954).

Evie Hone passed away whilst attending mass in Rathfarnham, Dublin, in 1955. A memorial exhibition of drawings, paintings and stained glass which attracted huge crowds, was held in Dublin in 1958, and subsequently in London.

GOOD TO KNOW... 

When visiting Ireland, one had a good chance of encountering her work in chapels and museums all across the island. In the 22 years during which she worked in stained glass, she produced some 74 windows!   Her work can be found in the collections of the National Gallery of Ireland, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Hugh Lane Gallery (Dublin), Ulster Museum (Belfast) and Crawford Gallery (Cork). 

~ Rua

Additional Information
Date of Birth 22nd Apr 1894  
Associated Building (s) Jesuits of Tullabeg, Rahan, Co Offaly  
Mother (First Name/s and Maiden) Eva Eleanor, née Robinson, daughter of Sir Henry Robinson and granddaughter of the 10th Viscount Valentia.  
Father (First Name/s and Surname) Joseph Hone - brother of the artist Nathaniel Hone 'the Younger'; great-grand-nephew of a better-known painter, Nathaniel Hone (1718 – 1784). VIEW SOURCE
Townland born Roebuck Grove, Clonskeagh, Dublin 14 (then Co. Dublin)  
Number of Siblings Hone was the youngest of 4 girls. Her three sisters married British army officers, and all were widowed in the First World War.  
Spouse (First Name/s and Maiden/Surname)    
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References

TATE LONDON: Evie Hone UK VIEW SOURCE
Ardcarne BOYLE: Ireland
Evie Hone windows at GREYSTONES, Dublin Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Evie Hone windows at CLONTARF, Dublin Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Evie Hone windows at ARDARA, Donegal Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Evie Hone at GARDINER ST. Dublin Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Evie Hone at KINGSCOURT Cavan Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Evie Hone at TISRANE Cork Ireland VIEW SOURCE

Buildings Associated with this Ancestor