Thought Row Episode 11: Maurice Quillinan - Inside Thoughts from an Art Curator

Posted by Inci Johnson on

 Thought Row Episode 11: Maurice Quillinan - Inside Thoughts from an Art Curator

This week’s Thought Row podcast guest is Maurice Quillinan from Ireland. He has studied at the Royal College of Art, London and the Ecole National Superieur de Arts in Paris. Maurice is best known in various countries around the world for his knowledge as a formidable art curator. He has staged art exhibitions in various countries. His own artwork has been widely exhibited and collected internationally. 

We discuss his life in Limerick, Ireland as a curator of fine art and how he has managed to curate exhibitions in Ireland and in other countries. Maurice is extremely knowledgeable about curating art and has insightful thoughts and ideas about creativity to share with our listeners.

Links for Maurice Quillinan


Instagram:  @maurice_quillinan




Show Notes: 

R: Hi everyone...And here we are...motivating you to live more creatively. I’m Rod Jones

I: And I’m Inci Jones...Welcome to the Thought Row podcast. We invite you to subscribe wherever you listen. We are available virtually anywhere you listen to your podcasts. 

R: That’s right Inci...I know people that want to think more creatively, will benefit from our weekly show. What are we discussing today? 

I: Today we’re going to be discussing curating. Especially art curation. And we have an excellent guest we will be interviewing. 

R: This is going to be very interesting . Now how about the quote for the week

I: The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you. BB King


R: Before we get into our topic today, I thought it would be a good idea to tell people about why we produce the Thought Row podcast. 

I: That’s a good idea Rod, let me first start by saying that on the Thought Row podcast we share with you the conversations we have with talented people from all over the world. We speak to real creatives that come from all walks of life, and are the real-life superstars pursuing their creative passions and dreams. 

R: That’s right Inci. Also, it’s a place for everyone to learn how to be more creative in everything they do. 

I: Our podcast is conversations between Rod and I and our guests. You will learn from their experiences, insights and travels in life. They cover a wide range of topics that I’m sure will be of great interest to anyone that is or wants to be more creative. 

R: On with the show...curating...what does that mean to you Inci?

I: Well...I know one thing for sure, in virtually all cases...there would not be art exhibitions. Someone has to select the art, organize it, be involved in the hanging and presentation. 

I: Curating...what does that mean to you Rod? 

R: Well...unfortunately you really covered much of what I would have thought to say. There have been some really famous curators. Many of them started out just curating their own personal collections. A good example would be Peggy Guggenheim. In fact, her collection just about got her disowned from the Guggenheim museum family. 


R: Art critics interestingly enough become sudo curators. As they form people’s opinions about a certain artist, then curators gravitate to those artists and build exhibitions. 

I: A good example of that would probably be Clement Greenberg. He championed Jackson Pollock as the greatest artist of his generation. 

R: That’s a good example. You could argue that between him, Lee Krasner, Peggy Guggenheim they made Jackson Pollock a household name in the art world. 

I: Interesting, there are curators that curate performance art. Like Rose Lee Goldberg. And’s not always about paintings.

R: What about art dealers? They heavily influence people’s taste in art like Leo Castelli. He helped the contemporary art movement in America. And influenced it to be accepted in Europe. 


I: Is it possible that anybody can become a curator? 

R: I suppose really gets down to your taste in art...or for that matter, you can curate a just about any type of collection. 

I: I guess it is all about collections and presenting them in a cohesive, educational and innovative new way. 


I: I think now would be a good time to speak with our guest today who is Maurice Quillinan. I hope I pronounced his name correctly. He is Irish. 

R: Maurice welcome our Talented friend,  welcome to the Thought Row Podcast both Inci and I have been really looking forward to chatting with you. 

Maurice ~ It’s good to be with you today. ~ Basically you are saying “Hi” and whatever you are comfortable saying….so people know you are here with us. 

I: You are a very creative and talented artist, and we are excited to talk to you about your career as a curator. But before we begin we like to start our show by asking what you had for breakfast.

I: You live in a beautiful city in Ireland. Tell us a little bit about where you live.  

R: Maurice why don’t you share with our listeners what a curator does. 

R: We know when it comes to art you are extremely well educated. Has has that education impacted your curatorial ambitions? 

I: When did you decide to curate art exhibitions? Was there one event in particular that inspired you? 

R: Do you only curate painting? Or do you delve into other types of art curations? 

I: Curating the artworks of artists must cause you to have to deal with many different personalities. Do you find that to be an easy task? 

R: We all know that creative people have egos, some express them outwardly more than others. Does that ever influence how you select art pieces for an exhibition. 

I: When you are wearing your curator’s does that influence your own artwork? 

R: I think of you more as an artist because that’s what I so often see on your social media posts. And I might say, I can become a bit jealous, you are really quite good! How did you develop your style? 

I: We understand that you have organized art exhibitions in other countries. Where were they held, and it seems to me it must have been a logistical nightmare. 

R: It’s hard for most people to grasp, but curating an art show is not just about selecting some great works of art. There is a lot of work that goes into it. How do you manage that and still have time to create art for yourself and give precious time to your family? 

I: If someone wanted to pursue a career as a curator, what would be your principal advice. 

R: What is your philosophy when you approach the selecting and organizing of artworks for a show? 

I: What is your workspace like? 

R: Do you ever have doubts about what you’re doing creatively? 

I: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

R: What do you want to be remembered by? 

I: If you could sit on a park bench and chat with anyone from the past, who would it be? 

R: Maurice, you shared some interesting thoughts and ideas about art, curating and creativity. We really appreciate you taking the time for this interview with Inci and I. 

I: Just letting everyone know...if you want to know more about Maurice we will have links in the show notes and also under the show guest tab on Thought Row So everyone can visit Maurice's website and learn more about him and be able to connect with him on social media. 

R & I: Thanks and goodbye for now Maurice.

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