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Ach Rèalt na Glanmhaigdine ina ga ar an Uisce

1979 Ann McCoy Born: Boulder, Colorado 1946 graphite, acrylic and crayon on paper mounted on canvas sheet: 81 1/2 x 145 1/8 in. (207.0 x 368.6 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation 1986.6.61 Not currently on view

Exhibition Label

McCoy submerges the viewer in a world that unites cosmos and ocean depths. Planets and comets circle the periphery of a glimmering, watery field of graceful jellyfish and bioluminescent organisms. In the late 1970s, she had a dream, she said, of “floating in a black sea in the dark. Sea turtles and scientists were guiding me through the waters showing me the beauty of the sea at night.” Shortly thereafter she received a grant to go to Australia. There she did her first night scuba diving and began the Night Sea series. The title of this drawing comes from Brendan Behan’s play The Hostage and roughly translates from Gaelic as “But the star of the pure virgin glows on the water.”

Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection, 2014


Animal - other - jellyfish




paint - acrylic

pencil - graphite

fabric - canvas


About Ann McCoy

Born: Boulder, Colorado 1946