Evie Hone (1894 – 1955)
Evie Hone was born on 22nd April 1894 in Clonskeagh, Dublin. Her father was a director of the Bank of Ireland. At age 11 she contracted Polio which left her with a severe disability for the rest of her life. Determined to study art, despite this, she began attending classes in London under Byam Shaw.
From London she traveled to study in Paris in 1920 under such well known masters as Andre Lhote and Albert Gleizes. Though she was always attracted by stained glass she only took up this work in 1935 on her return from a visit to Holland, where she had received great encouragement from the famous Dutch stained glass artist Professor Roland Holst. She was as knowledgeable in Medieval Stained Glass as she was in European Stained Glass.
She converted to Catholicism in 1937 and this fact coupled with her lifelong search for a true expression of her faith, led her to continue her work in stained glass. She eventually became a member of An Tur Gloine, an umbrella organization set up to foster excellence in stained glass painting and production.
She had a definite dislike of any of her works leaving Ireland and thus her stained glass windows are to be seen in Churches throughout the country. These churches include the Catholic Church in Howth, the chapel at Portobello Barracks, the chapel in Clongowes Wood School and the chapel in Blackrock College Dublin.
Her most famous commissions were definitely a series of five windows she made for the Catholic Church in Tullabeg, Co. Offaly (1946). Four windows for the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Kingscourt (1947 – 1948), the Hatch Street, Dublin series in 1947 and the huge nine light Eton College Chapel East window (1949 – 1952).
It appears that the only Church in Co. Cavan with Evie Hone stained glass window is the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Kingscourt. In Co. Meath, there is an Evie Hone window in the Church of Ireland at Tara. It is called ‘The descent of the Holy Spirit’ and was commissioned in 1936. There is also a window by her in the Church of Ireland, Ardcane, Boyle, commissioned in 1935 and consists of a two panel window depicting St. Patrick, St. Brigid and St. Berac.
Her studio was in a beautifully situated old house in Rathfarnham, at the foot of the Dubin Mountains. During the Second World War when petrol for transport was scarce, her windows were transported by pony and trap into Dublin City to be fired.
Evie Hone exhibited some of her work in the Dawson Gallery, Dublin in 1944 and held another exhibition in the College of Art in 1947.
Prior to its installation in Kingscourt her Crucifixion window was on private exhibition in her studio at Marley, Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin. Her windows in Kingscourt are truly unique and are treasured by the Parish.