I have been trying to transcribe an audio file (from a video presentation) but there are some parts (words, names, phrases) that I can't make out. If someone has the time to sit and listen to it and the patience to decipher one or some of those parts, I would be really grateful. I should add that there is a fair amount of background noise.
The language of the file is English and the presentation is about an Art Gallery in Waterford, Ireland.
(I must warn you that it is quite lengthy - about 13mins)
The link to the audio file is this: www.box.net/shared/dlmlztkiv3q63lhlz44u
The text is below (the highlighted question marks are my problematic areas):
Henry congratulated the organisers on providing the people of the city with a valuable cultural asset and it was generally felt that Waterford was now playing its part in the general cultural development of the nation. Irish Independence was still fresh in people's minds at this time and Henry shared the common belief that it is important to assert their new freedom culturally by establishing true Irish subject matter. It was a commonly held belief that authentic Gaelic civilisation was still to be found in the West of Ireland and some years earlier, Henry had moved to Achill, where he stayed for seven years. During this time, he began to paint what were to become his typical rugged landscape subjects of which the Lakeside Cottages was a very fine example. Here we see a picturesque cluster of small houses nestling in the shadow of dramatic blue-grey mountain peaks ??? white cloudy sky. The Romantic vision, if ever there was one, was one shared by other prominent artists at the time, including Sean Keating, Maurice MacGonigal and Charles Lamb. The collection includes good examples of work by each of them, including Keating's landscape entitled ???? which is portrait studies of ?????? and ???? ??? . He was an excellent draftsman who had studied at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art, now the National College of Art and Design, and went from there to depict many portrait studies of the Aran Islanders, such as The ??? Seafarer whose weather-beaten features evoke something of the hard life encountered on the western seaboard. Other paintings by the West of Ireland School include Maurice MacGonigal's Minoan Cliffs, James Humbert Craig's Rooskey, County Donegal, and Charles Lamb's ??????. Here, the title suggests a French subject, but it might just as easily refer to a group of rural Irish people, engaged in a pious expression of their native faith or culture. Lamb's painting was one of the first works to be acquired by the collection, and was bought with money raised by public appeal. In July, 1938, exactly one year before the establishment of the collection, a letter was circulated to the residents of Waterford by a group of interested local people who had got together under the leadership of Dorothy Jacob. It read: 'In view of the interest in art, which has been awakened by the recent exhibitions of pictures in Waterford, we feel that the time has come to establish a permanent collection here. This is followed by an appeal for financial support.' An important stimulus to founding the collection had been a number of annual art exhibitions, which had been arranged by one of the signatories to the appeal letter, Arnold Marsh, who was then Headmaster of the Newtown School, together with his wife, the artist Hilda Roberts. Roberts had also studied at the Metropolitan School in Dublin and had subsequently become well known as a portraitist. Collection includes a number of works by her, including the study of a local personality, Mrs ??? which had previously been shown in the 1936 Art Exhibition. The exhibitions proved to be very popular, and after they included works by well known Irish painters of the time, such as Jack B. Yeats, son of the painter John Yeats and brother of the poet William Butler. The collection includes works by three generations of the Yeats family, an accomplished academic portrait of the then prominent Irishman Robert Ashe King by John Yeats and more recently a small abstract composition entitled Springing and Turning ?????. In between them came Jack's While Grass Grows, which was acquired in 1941 and is a very fine example of his later expressionistic style. The secret of Yeats' genius lay in his unique ability to blend together mysterious poetic theme, evoking the atmosphere of ancient Gaelic Ireland with a thoroughly modern technique. Artists such as Yeats were concerned to educate the public into new awarenesses and many of them travelled around the country, giving public lectures. One was given in Waterford by Edward McGuire on the subject of surrealism. One of the most important painters of the day, Mainie Jellett, gave a lecture on Modern Art in Waterford in 1935. She, herself, had studied Cubism in Paris, and later pioneered its introduction into Ireland, arguing that it was a particularly appropriate style because it shared similarities with the abstract designs of early Celtic Art. Her views were shared by her contemporary, Evie Hone, who also translated the Cubist style, in her case into stained glasswork. The Waterford News, now the News and Star, reporting on the 1938 exhibition, commented: ' Until a few years ago, lovers of art in Waterford were a very small body but their numbers are on the increase, and now public appreciation of art is growing rapidly’. So it did not come as a great surprise to anyone when the collection of ???? ????? appeared and even though times were hard, there was an enthusiastic response, enabling the organisers to buy the first few works. There, when put together with some donated pieces, were sufficient to form a nucleus of the collection, which comprised 17 items. As well as painted works, they included a marbled bust of George Newenham by the important 19th C. Cork sculptor John Hogan. Newenham was a wealthy banker, who was also a patron of the arts and he's credited with recognising the talent of Daniel Maclise, who started life as a porter in the bank and became arguably Ireland’s greatest mid-20th C. artist. He was responsible for the large Marriage of Aoife and Strongbow painting, which is now hanging in the National Gallery. One rather unusual item amongst the first pieces was an 18th C. Irish Chippendale-styled chair. The inclusion of such an object reminds us that it was the original intention of the founders to include furniture and ceramics as well as painting and sculpture in the collection and as they said, at least one fine case containing representative pieces of Waterford crystal. For one reason or another, however, possibly due to the shortage of adequate display space, the collection remained limited to visual art. During the 1940s, additional works were steadily acquired; often these came as donations from charitable bodies, such as the Friends of the National Art collections and the Thomas Huberty Trust. The latter provided an unusual early work by Louis le Brocquy entitled Belfast Refugees at ??? Road, Dublin, 1941. Le Brocquy is arguably Ireland's greatest living artist, and he since developed a unique and characteristic approach of his own, but this early work indicates his formative European influences, particularly the sombre tones of Spanish art. Here we see refugees escaping from the wartime bombing of Belfast. Over the years, the Huberty Trust has supplied the collection with many important works and most recently a still-life painting by the academic Dublin painter Carey Clarke. In 1949, the Waterford Art Advisory Committee was formed; this was a dedicated group of local people who gave their time and expertise to developing the collection as a cultural resource for the people of the city. The last of the original members, Mrs. Lisa Gallagher, died only a year or so ago, and I'm sure she would have been delighted to know that this video of the collection was now being made. Committee would give them an annual grant for the acquisition of new works by Waterford Cooperation and later on they also received support from the Arts Council. This funding enabled them to acquire such fine pieces as the heroic bronze sculpture entitled Chariots of Fire by Oisin Kelly. Kelly taught for a time in Waterford during the 1940s and soon after this he made this sculpture, a larger version of which stands outside the Irish Life Insurance offices in Dublin. Over subsequent years, the Waterford Municipal collection has grown steadily to its present size and now consists of over 200 works, which together offer a fine cross-section of 20th C. Irish Art. It also contains some interesting European works, amongst which are a portrait head by the American bone sculptor Jacob Epstein, the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. Epstein is generally regarded as the greatest exponent of Romantic sculpture since Rodin. This cast is one of the 14 listed into the full catalogue of his work. Its vivid expressive quality finds an echo in the haunting image of an embracing couple reunited after wartime separation entitled Le Refuge by the French painter ??? A less well known French artist, ???? was capable of producing powerfully emotional work in this case reminiscent of some early Picasso. Two other interesting foreign works are a pair of townscapes, depicting of Amsterdam and Schiedam. The origin of these two paintings is unknown but they are thought to be by a 19th C. Dutch artist who specialised in such themes, Jacob Vrolijk. One of the most characteristic features of the collection since it's originated has been the emphasis placed on acquiring works by local artists such as Michael O'Connell ‘s View of Waterford. This is the most recent of a number of works depicting views of the city, the earliest of which was by Willem Van der Hagen, painted in 1735, now hanging in the Council Chamber of the City Hall. Others include ????? watercolour The River Shore at Waterford, painted in 1895 and Patrick Stephenson's View of Waterford from Mount Misery, painted in 1939. The collection has continued to expand and works are still being added. Recent additions include examples by two local artists, Ernest (Ruckle?) and Ben ????. ???? ????, painted during the early 1980s, a specific example of the so-called neo-Expressionist approach was prevalent at that time, while Ernest’s more graphic and caricatural piece entitled Redecorating follows in the long line of artwork which satirises society, ranging from William Hogarth to George Grosz. A problem that soon arose as the collection grew was the difficulty in displaying the works adequately. It was originally housed in a room in the City Library with the limited space available it soon proved to be !??? !inadequate and as early as 1941, the then mayor of Waterford, James Aylward, expressed the wish that these splendid art treasures in the possession of Waterford Cooperation would be properly housed. He was the first of many to vice the problem, but it was to remain unsolved until recently, when Waterford Cooperation decided to display the collection on a permanent basis, in the beautifully restored City Hall. So for the first time in almost half a century, the collection is readily available for all to see and one of the main purposes from the making of this video, is to raise awareness not only about the very existence of the collection, but also to try and show what a valuable and attractive cultural asset it is to the people of this city.
Thank you so much in advance!