Betty Searson Remembered, a founding member of the Crafts Council of Ireland

Posted 08.07.21

Betty Searson Remembered, a founding member of the Crafts Council of Ireland

It was with great sadness that we learned of the recent passing of Betty Searson, one of the founding members of the Design & Crafts Council Ireland.

Throughout her life Betty was a key supporter and champion of not only craft makers, but also musicians and artists as well. Her network spanned the length and breadth of Ireland and reached internationally too. She was always welcoming and had a charm that was hard to refuse! As her neighbour for the past twenty years, I once missed one of her Christmas drinks party and never lived it down!

Betty was a UCD Arts Graduate. She joined the RDS library staff in 1945 and thus started her love of the arts and the beginning of developing her vast network of contacts. In the late 1950’s she took a sabbatical to Philadelphia. On her return she became the first Arts Programme Administrator with the RDS and perused her role with energy and vigour to drive the arts agenda in Ireland. She was behind the first arts and craft show in the RDS in the late 1960s.

Betty never sought recognition for her efforts but took quiet pleasure in observing the fruits of her work. As a neighbour she was always charming and politely curious.

Our thoughts are with Betty’s family, colleagues and wide circle of friends at this sad time. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam.

Andrew Bradley
Chair, Design & Crafts Council Ireland

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