The artist and sculptor Vera Klute has been announced as the latest artist to be commissioned by The Bar of Ireland and the Honorable Society of King’s Inns as part of our joint initiative, In Plain Sight.
The 2023 Commission is of Frances Moran SC, who become the first female Senior Counsel in 1941, across both Ireland and Britain.
In addition, Frances was one of the first female law lecturers in the State and a Reid Professor of Law at Trinity College Dublin.
The In Plain Sight initiative seeks to highlight the contribution and visibility of female barristers to the profession and the legal system, with the commission to hang in the Honorable Society of Kings Inns, and on tour.
Image of Frances Moran SC (c) Susan M. Parkes
Chair of the Council of The Bar of Ireland, Sara Phelan SC said:
“A sustained spotlight on these pioneering colleagues is key to ensuring that the discussion of gender participation remains current. That’s why I’m particularly grateful to have this annual commission, and very much in plain sight of those who are commencing their career at the Bar.
Frances Moran bridged an important era in the State’s history, European history and the history of the Bar. Her contributions serve as a reminder to women lawyers of our potential, and the contribution we can make.
I’m especially delighted that Vera Klute has been commissioned. Her work is bold, impactful and honest, and I’m looking forward to her treatment of Frances Moran.“
Hugh Mohan SC, Chair of the Honorable Society of King’s Inns said:
“To add to our collection in King’s Inns with an artist of such high repute as Vera Klute is an honor.
We continue to invest in our environment here, so that students and visitors to the Society enjoy a fuller picture of who has made and shaped the profession before them.“
Selected artist Vera Klute commented:
“The In Plain Sight Commission is one that especially aligns with my own values.
I’m delighted to have been selected for the 2023 Commission.
The opportunity to work within the unique heritage of the barrister profession, and understand Frances Moran’s own journey, is a privilege.“
Vera follows in the inaugural commission, undertaken by Sligo-based artist Emma Stroude of Averill Deverell and Frances Kyle, who were the first women call the Bar.
In Plain Sight is one of several initiatives undertaken by The Bar of Ireland to highlight the under representation of women in Ireland’s legal system. It is accompanied by The Bar’s Equality Action plan, settings out a series of actions to build upon existing equality, diversity, and inclusion initiatives and the recently established Equitable Briefing Policy, ensuring that unconscious biases towards any one gender are considered, and where possible, remedied by briefing entities.
The commission is under way and is due to be unveiled in October 2023.
About Vera Klute
Vera Klute of one Ireland’s most critically-acclaimed contemporary artists. Since graduating in fine art from IADT in 2006 with a first-class honours degree, Klute has had solo exhibitions at the RHA Gallery, Dublin, the Butler Gallery, Kilkenny, and at The Molesworth Gallery.
She has shown in the group exhibition Rencontres Internationales at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid and at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, and was selected for FUTURES 2011 at the RHA. She won the 2015 Hennessy Portrait Prize, awarded under the auspices of the National Gallery of Ireland, and the Hennessy-Craig Scholarship at the 2015 RHA Annual Show. Her portrait of Sr. Stanislaus Kennedy, commissioned by The National Gallery of Ireland, was added to the National Portrait Collection in 2014.
She received the Arts Council Bursary Award in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2019, the K+M Evans Award at the RHA Annual (2013) and the Emerging Visual Artist Award, Wexford Arts Centre (2009).
Klute was commissioned by the Royal Irish Academy in 2017 to create a set of four portraits for their Women on Walls initiative. The portraits were of Françoise Henry, Sheila Tinney, Phyllis Clinch and Eleanor Knott. In 2018, she was elected an Associate Member of the RHA.
In January 2019, Klute’s sculpture of Luke Kelly was unveiled on Sheriff Street, Dublin
Klute will appear on RTE’s The Work Presents this Friday, 12th May 2023.
About Frances Elizabeth Moran
Frances Elizabeth Moran was born in 1893 and called to the Bar on the 1st November 1924. Her appointment as Reid Professor in 1925 was the first appointment of a woman to a Dublin University Chair in any subject.
She became the first female law lecturer in Ireland, the first female Regius Professor at Trinity College Dublin and in 1941 she became the first woman to take silk, though she never practised at the Inner Bar. After the Second World War she attended the Nuremburg Trials in Germany and in 1947 toured Canada speaking of the experience. In 1968 she became Honorary Fellow and Honorary Bencher of the King’s Inns in Dublin.
She also undertook a number of world tours for the International Federation of University Women, of which she became President.
Her contribution to the education of women and their advancement in society was immense. She died on the 7th October 1977, aged 83, leaving a large bequest to TCD School of Law in her will.
This bequest led to the establishment of the Frances E. Moran Memorial Studentship for postgraduate students.