Barack Obama’s Irish Ancestor Book For Sale

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HeritageDaily has learnt that a book written in Latin that once belonged to Barack  Obama’s Irish ancestor, is to go on sale in Dublin by Whyte’s fine art auctioneers in Dublin on January 26th.

The rare copy is a  17th-century treatise on art history  which is written in Latin, was owned by Michael  Kearney, President Obama’s six times great-granduncle.  Kearney’s bookplate is pasted into the leather-bound  volume of De Pictura Veterum, written by German-born scholar Franciscus  Junius.

The De pictura veterum, is a theoretical discussion of classical art and one of the cornerstones of the Neoclassical movement. Published in 1637 in Latin, it was followed by his own translations into English (1638) and Dutch (1641).


The English translation was published under the title, The Painting  of the Ancients, w but collectors of antiquarian books,  as opposed to readers, still seek out the Latin original.

The discovery of Kearney’s book is  the latest ‘evidence to emerge of Mr Obama’s tenuous genealogical links to  Ireland.

President Obama famously visited the Offaly village  of Moneygall last year from where his maternal great-great-great grandfather  Falmouth Kearney, a shoemaker’s son, emigrated to New York in 1850.

About the author

Diarmaid is a national award wining archaeologist and a graduate from the University of Sussex (MA). He is currently undertaking PHD research on the origins and development of Grog tempered Roman pottery within the area of Kent and Sussex. Diarmaid has excavated extensively in the Middle East and advises government departments on the historical and cultural aspect of country in the region

HeritageDaily : Archaeology News : Archaeology Press Releases


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