A Call to Arts explores Helen Hooker and Ernie O’Malley’s lives and their contributions to the arts in a newly independent Ireland. The film examines the photography and sculpture of Helen Hooker, and her marriage with Irish soldier and author, Ernie O’Malley. It’s an artistic journey in Ireland that takes place from 1935-1975.


 Where to Watch

This program premiered November 16, 2020 on CPTV and is now available to stream on this page, at video.cptv.org, and on other CPTV and PBS streaming platforms.

It encores Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 9 p.m. on CPTV and Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 12 p.m. on CPTV.

More About the Program

A Call to Arts is not only about Helen Hooker and Ernie O’Malley in Ireland, but also about their youngest son Cormac’s mission to discover their incredible legacy. The unlikely pair fell in love in New York and together they helped change the shape of the arts in Ireland in the 20th century.

A Call to Arts showcases insights from over 22 interviews in conversation with rich archival images and video, some never seen before, to describe a turbulent and inspired arts journey through a newly independent Ireland.

The film seeks to examine the intersection of modernism in arts and literature and Irish independence. Helen Hooker and Ernie O’Malley were a couple who, by all accounts, made it their work to see Ireland not for how it was, but for what it could become.

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