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Eva McKee art works

Collection MS-2005-006: Eva McKee art works


  • Creation: 1920s-1950s

Scope and Contents

The Eva McKee art works consist of block-printed cards and sketches of jewelry designs, as well as examples of her craftwork on leather, wood, ceramics, and metal. Items include a wallet, a purse, two small dishes, a pin, a letter opener, and a deck of playing cards. All the materials demonstrate McKee's use of Celtic Revivial motifs in a distinctly Irish Arts and Crafts style. In addition to McKee's design work, there are a few photographs of her, including one with her business partner and fellow craftswoman Eveline McCloy.


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographical Note

Eva McKee was born in Belfast, Ireland, in 1890. She studied design at the School of Art in Belfast from 1911-1912 and again in 1918-1920. During these years McKee joined the Irish Decorative Art Association and moved into their permanent studio space in Belfast at 35 Wellington Place, along with fellow member Eveline McCloy. McKee worked with a wide range of materials, including painted wood, ceramics, embroidery, jewelry, leatherwork, repoussé metalwork, and block-prints. Her work predominantly used Celtic-inspired original designs, as well as Irish landscape motifs. Her prints incorporated images with hand-lettered adages and poems in English and Irish.

McKee began exhibiting extensively at Arts and Crafts events in the 1920s, showing her work at the Arts and Crafts Society of Ireland in 1921 and 1925; the Barbazanges Gallery, Paris in 1922; and the Tailteann Exhibit in 1922 and 1924. She also became a member of the Guild of Irish Art-Workers in the 1920s.

McKee and McCloy stopped using the Irish Decorative Art Association name after 1933, but they continued their partnership and their use of the 35 Wellington Place Studio into the 1950s. Eva McKee died in 1955.


Larmour, Paul. The Arts and Crafts Movement in Ireland. Belfast: Friar's Bush Press, 1992.

Larmour, Paul. “The Arts and Crafts Movement in Northern Ireland.” In The Arts and Crafts Movement: Making It Irish, edited by Vera Kreilkamp, 57-72. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016.


2.5 Linear Feet (3 containers )

Language of Materials



This collection documents the work of the early 20th century Belfast artist Eva McKee through examples of her Celtic Revival-influenced Irish Arts and Crafts designs. Materials include her printmaking and jewelry designs, as well as a few samples of her works on ceramic, leather, metal, and wood.


Organized in two series: I. Art works, and II. Photographs of McKee and her work. Series I is arranged in three subseries: A. Prints, B. Jewelry designs, and C. Art objects.


These art works were retrieved from McKee's studio in Belfast after her death, by her sister N. B. McKee. She in turn sold them in 1998 while moving from her home to assisted living. John J. Burns Library purchased them from Emerald Isle Books in 2005.

Processing Information

Provenance of these materials certifies that they came from Eva McKee's studio and are all original works; it is presumed that they are all works by McKee.

Eva McKee Art Works
Dana Lawton, 2005; David Tennant, 2006; AnneMarie Anderson, 2010; and Lynn Moulton
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States