Afterword: Specters and Apparitions

  • Maggie M. Williams
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


In 2010, two temporary exhibitions of replicated Irish medievalia appeared in Dublin and Chicago.1 In Ireland, a show devoted exclusively to plaster-of-Paris reproductions of high crosses ran concurrently with one in Chicago, where Edmond Johnson’s copies of medieval metalwork appeared in Mid-Century: “Good Design” in Europe and America, 1850— 1950. In each venue, the design process took center stage, and the replicas were treated as works of art in-and-of themselves. Copies or not, their recognizable Celto-medieval imagery answered George Petrie’s pleas to salvage Irish antiquity for posterity. Rather than being disdained as simulacra, they were celebrated as spectral manifestations of Irishness in the modern world.


Cultural Identity High Cross Ringed Cross Spectral Manifestation Familiar Brand 
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  1. 8.
    Douglas MacLean, “The Origins and Early Development of the Celtic Cross”, Markers: Journal of the Association for Gravestone Studies 7 (1990): 233–75.Google Scholar
  2. 9.
    O’Connell was a master organizer, who galvanized thousands to put pressure on the British government to reform anti-Catholic laws and repeal the Act of Union. Although an independent Irish nation was still in the distant future, O’Connell helped to lay the groundwork for the 1916 revolution. See Máire and Conor Cruise O’Brien, Ireland: A Concise History, 3rd ed. (New York: Thames & Hudson, 1999).Google Scholar
  3. 10.
    As quoted in William Stokes, The Life and Labours in Art and Archaeology of George Petrie (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1868), p. 437.Google Scholar

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© Maggie M. Williams 2012

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  • Maggie M. Williams

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