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date: 26 January 2020

Ivory, Thomaslocked

(b ?Cork, c. 1732; d Dublin, Dec 1786).
  • Edward McParland

Extract

(b ?Cork, c. 1732; d Dublin, Dec 1786).

Irish architect. He was, with Thomas Cooley, the most prominent architect in Dublin in the 1770s. His importance possibly derived less from his buildings than from his post as master of the Dublin Society’s School of Architectural Drawing, where from the early 1760s to his death he instructed many craftsmen and designers in architectural drawing and the rudiments of classical composition.

Ivory’s most important buildings are Kilcarty (c. 1770–80), Co. Meath, and the Bluecoat School (King’s Hospital; begun 1773) and Newcomen’s Bank (c. 1781), both in Dublin. His partly executed designs for the Bluecoat School in the British Library are among the most beautiful Irish architectural drawings of the 18th century. They reveal Ivory’s conservative, even old-fashioned approach, for here, as late as 1773, he proposed a Palladian composition enlivened with Baroque flourishes.

Never reluctant to repeat his designs, Ivory used the same basic layout in the Bluecoat drawings and at Kilcarty, a sophisticated and subtle farmhouse that he self-consciously refused to turn into a villa. The Bluecoat elevations reappear in flawless Neo-classical guise in Newcomen’s Bank, described by Maurice Craig as ‘the only building in Dublin which looks as though it might have been designed by one of the Adams’. Ivory was no innovator but a sensitive exponent of conservative taste. In the 1770s he was upstaged by Thomas Cooley and eclipsed after ...

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