2:00 pm

Edward H. Furey – “Glorious Gems of Lowell: Patrick Keely’s Legacy”

Patrick Charles Keely (1816-1896) designed and built an estimated 700 churches and ecclesiastical buildings in the eastern and western United States and Canada from the 1840s when he emigrated from County Tipperary, Ireland, to Brooklyn, New York, until he died there in 1896. In 1884, he was awarded the Laetare Medal, the oldest and most prestigious award for American Catholics. Yet, today, few authorities in the fields of American and European art and architecture and nineteenth-century studies even know his name. Nor is anything known of his architectural education, only that he was trained as a carpenter and builder by his father, a draughtsman and builder. Edward Furey, artist, educator, and founder of the Keely Society, will explain his dedication to documenting the life, art, and architecture of Patrick Keely and the origins of the Society.  From Keely’s beginnings in Brooklyn to the challenges the Society faces today, a story unfolds that affords unique insights not only into Keely’s own artistry and his dealings with some of the nation’s leading artists and artisans but also into his day to day experiences with his workers and suppliers, insights that give us an accurate picture of the man himself.