The Permanent Collections

MUSHROOM BOOK from LCGA's Permanent Collections

7th March - 8th May 2022
Limerick City Gallery of Art


John Cage, Lois Long and Alexander H. Smith.


18th February - 8th May 2022

LCGA is delighted to exhibit The MUSHROOM BOOK,  a unique collection of prints & texts by John Cage, Lois Long and Alexander H. Smith.

The MUSHROOM BOOK is just recently returned from exhibit at Somerset House London from the  exhibition 



John Cage, legendary composer of experimental sounds and silence, was absolutely fascinated with mushrooms. The pages of the Mushroom Book a collaboration with mycologist Alexander H. Smith — include these disjointed poems alongside beautifully executed mushroom illustrations by Lois Long, as well as fields of seemingly random text with sporadic mushroom drawings and details scrawled by Cage all over the page.   This collection is only 1 of 2 in Museum/Gallery collections, MOMA in New York is the other institution.


This unique collection was generously donated by Jim Sheehy in 1990’s.


Jim Sheehy was born in Macroom Co. Cork in 1945.  He went to the US in 1964 and studied at Cornell University; SUNY at Buffalo (BA); Pratt Institute (MFA) and The Art Student League of New York.  During the 1970’s he printed for many of the leading American artist at Hollanders Workshop Inc. and at the New York Printmakers Workshop, including Willem de Kooning, James Rosenquist. 


Sheehy has had solo exhibitions in New York, Dublin, Limerick and Cork and has exhibited in most of the major group exhibitions in Ireland.  In 2005 the Belltable Arts Centre, Limerick held an exhibition of his prints along with work he printed for artists in New York as part of its survey of contemporary Irish Printmaking.  He has won two Irish printmaking awards and has had a number of articles published in the UK magazine ‘Printmaking Today’.  His work is in public and private collections in Ireland and the U.S. – including: The State University of NY System; New York Public Library; Art Museum of Miami; The National Self-Portrait Collection of Ireland; Irish Contemporary Drawing Collection; Limerick City Gallery of Art and Crawford Art Gallery. 

He taught Printmaking at the Limerick School of Art and Design from 1978-2010.  He lives in Cork.


Jim Sheehy: Artists Statement

‘I enjoy the technical side of printmaking – the way each print medium has its own unique process, procedure and look.   It’s what got me interested many years ago and I still find it of interest.  There’s something truly beautiful about the look of a well printed work on good quality hand-made paper.  There’s also a whole world of study and scholarship around printmaking not associated with other areas of art.  And, I like the fact that prints exist in multiple so that many people can own the same original work.’


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