Russell, George (1867-1935)


George William Russell (AE) was born in Lurgan in 1867, moved to Dublin in 1868 and died at Bournemouth (where he had settled after his wife's death ) in 1935. He is well-known for his poetical works, landscape and portrait paintings. He attended night classes at the Metropolitan School of Art in Dublin and later at the Royal Hibernian Society, whilst working as a clerk in a drapery during the day. It was at the RHA that he met and became friends with Yeats. He became heavily involved with Yeats, Lady Gregory and the Irish Literary Theatre. He designed posters and sets. Whilst writing and painting he maintained a keen interest in the practical work of the Irish Agricultural Organization Society. Along with Sir Horace Plunkett he toured Ireland setting up credit banks for the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society (IAOS), he became editor of the Irish Homestead (paper of the IAOS) in 1905. He contributed to the Irish Statesman (1923-30). He wrote extensively on economics and politics, supporting Home Rule and the 1913 Lock-out. His first book of poems was published in 1894, this established him in the literary movement, a futher collection was published in 1913, with a second edition in 1926. He married Violet North in 1898. Their home was a meeting place for those interested in the furure of Ireland - economic and artisitc. Russell became a  in 1890 and had a keen interest in myticism throughout his life.