Artist Biographies

Cuala Press

The Cuala Press was established by the Yeats family in 1902. It operated under the name Dun Emer outside the village of Dundrum, Ireland until 1908, when it moved to Churchtown, and changed its name to Cuala Press, establishing a reputation for the quality of its hand-coloured prints. It was founded by Elizabeth Yeats “to find work for Irish hands in the making of beautiful things”. It became a famous crafts and printing venture within which the family combined their many talents. Sisters Susan Mary Yeats, always known as “Lily”, and Elizabeth Corbet Yeats, known as “Lollie” worked together at the Press. “Able and talented, but unmarried and with little money…that they survived at all under the circumstances and that they achieved what they did is a tribute to the strength that came from their remarkable heritage” (Irish Times, April 1995). The poet W.B.Yeats, served as editorial advisor to the Press until his death in 1939. Jack B. Yeats produced many of the designs that were issued as hand-coloured prints. The Cuala Press was always a Yeats family affair with three generations of the family involved at some point. Upon Elizabeth’s death in 1949, W.B. Yeat’s widow took over the running of the Press. When she died in 1969, control passed on to her two children Anne and Michael Yeats. In the later years most of the colouring was done by Anne herself with the help of her nieces. At a time when other Irish presses were devoting their energies to reprinting classic texts, the Cuala Press was issuing the new literature of an emerging Ireland and proclaiming, the living vitality of Irish heritage. Many of W.B. Yeat’s friends, including AE and Synge, had their work first published by the Press. Yeats himself gave his sisters first rights to all of his work.
This website uses cookies. By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies in line with our privacy policy. Find out more OK, I understand