The Club

  • History
  • Archives
  • Societies
  • Club Presidents
  • Committee 2015/16

The late 19th century saw a great revival in literature and art in Ireland.

Drawing on the rich legacy of Irish History and Mythology, a cultural renaissance was initiated, under the influence of W. B. Yeats, George "AE" Russell, Lady Augusta Gregory and others.

As well as founding the world famous Abbey Theatre, these writers, along with Ellie Duncan, Count Casimir and Countess Constance Markievicz, founded the United Arts Club, which came into existence in 1907. Unusually for its day the Club offered full membership to men and women from the start.

The Arts Club was envisaged as "combining the unusual advantages of a social club, open to both ladies and gentlemen, with features of special interest to workers in Art, in Music, and in Literature." It was immediately a popular success and became a home from home for practitioners of all artistic disciplines.

Lively interaction, discussion and debate on all aspects of the Arts ensued, and continues to this day. The United Arts Club membership has numbered many of Ireland's most distinguished Artists and Writers among its members. Many of these have served on the committee and been a major influence at home and abroad in the promotion of the Arts in Ireland.

Over the years the Club became a vital social amenity attracting not only artists from all disciplines but also patrons of the Arts. Thanks to the generosity of some of the painters and members the Club has a small but important collection of paintings donated over the years.

The United Arts Club has a rich and colourful history and our extensive resource of archived materials reflects this. At present we are working on cataloging our archives to make them accessible to all members.

Records include letters and correspondence from past members, committee minutes, agenda books, exhibition records, accounts and various other materials relating to the Club since its foundation.

Patricia Boylan's book All Cultivated People published in 1988 tells the story of the Club from its foundation, through the First World War, the Rising, Independence, the Second World War, to the present day, giving interesting and amusing details about its famous and also lesser-known members. This book is available for purchase in the Club office.

  • Irish Hellenic Society
  • Irish Pen Society
  • Watercolour Society
  • Irish Chinese Cultural Society
  • Irish Byron Society
  • Dublin Chess Club
  • Opera Circle
  • Wagner Society
  • Eblana Writers
  • Irish Mythic Links
  • Founder - Eileen Duncan 1907
  • Dermond O'Brien PRHA 1919 - 1945
  • Thomas Bodkin 1946 - 1951
  • Lennox Robinson 1951 - 1958
  • Padraig Colum 1959 - 1972
  • Michael MacLiammoir 1972 - 1978
  • Michael Scott 1978 - 1989
  • Gladys McCabe 1989 - 1989
  • Thomas Ryan PRHA 1990 - present
  • Vice President Committee- Mary Caulfield
  • Hon Sec. - Martin Lynch
  • Hon. Treas. - Tom Rowan
  • Chairperson - Theresa Kearney
  • Arts Convenor - Simone Orr
  • House Convenor - Martin Lynch
  • Membership Convenor - Theresa Kearney
  • Bar Convenor - Martin Schmidt
  • Dining Room- Nuala Ahern
  • Events- BrĂ­d Tunney
  • Committee Member- Pat O'Breartuin
  • Committee Member- Ronan Nolan
  • Committee Member- Mary Ger Ryan
  • Committee Member- Tom Haran