Architect and amateur of the arts, of Dublin. Joseph Holloway, son of Thomas and Anne Holloway, was born on 21 March 1861 at 71 Lower Camden Street, Dublin, where his father had a bakery shop. He was a pupil at St Vincent's College, Castleknock, when his father died in 1874. After his father's death he went to various schools and lived with different relations until he finally moved with his mother and sister to 21 Northumberland Road, where he lived for the rest of his life. He attended the Kildare Street School of Art for several years, and when he was nineteen entered the office of JOHN JOSEPH O'CALLAGHAN . He remained with O'Callaghan until 1896, when he established his own office at 21 Northumberland Road.
Architecture was for Holloway only one of many interests. He appears to have designed few buildings, and his architectural career came to an end with the First World War. As a man of private means, he was able to devote himself to his other pursuits. He was interested in all the arts, but the theatre was his passion; he was described in the Irish Builder as 'the most regular and constant playgoer in the country' and a theatre critic of 'the soundest judgment'. 'I love the theatre as I love my existence', he wrote in the preface to the diary which he kept from January 1895 until March 1944. This diary which provides a valuable record of theatrical life in Dublin, was left by Holloway to the National Gallery of Ireland, together with other papers relating to his architectural practice. He was for many years assistant film censor. A collector of paintings, he was appointed to the board of the National Gallery in 1932. He was also an able caricaturist.
By the end of his life Holloway had become a well-established Dublin character. A newspaper article on him published during the Second World War, when he was in his eighties, describes his appearance: 'His carelessly parted white hair looks like a sheepdog's. The cheeks with some rose in the parchment, are sagging a bit, the blue eyes underneath bushy eyebrows still steady, the white moustache curly. He wears an old-fashioned pince-nez, and has a mannerism of looking up at you sideways as he [?gra]sps the back of his chair.' He died on 13 March 1944 and was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery. He was unmarried.
AAI: foundation member and vice-president of revived association, 1896; member of council, 1904-1908; president, 1906-7.
RIAI: proposed as member by John Joseph O'Callaghan and SANDHAM SYMES , 3 June 1889, and elected, 2 December 1889; proposed as fellow by GEORGE PATRICK SHERIDAN , LUCIUS O'CALLAGHAN and FREDERICK GEORGE HICKS and elected 2 June 1924.
All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the obituaries in RIAI Year Book (1943 & 1944), 35, and IB 86, 25 Mar 1944, 130 (by H[arry] A[llberry]). Information about Holloway's birth and early life is from Jones, who does not identify his source, which may be Hogan & O'Neill (see note 2, below). Holloway appears in a group photograph of members of the AAI circa 1900 reproduced in IB 69, 15 Oct 1927, 759. There is a portrait of Holloway by Lilian Davidson in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin (full-scale copy in IAA).
IB 74, 19 Nov 1932; see also IB 55, 1 Mar 1913, 144.
NLI MSS 4861-4872 (lst 12 volumes); extracts from the diary were published in R.J. Hogan and M.J. O'Neill, Joseph Holloway's Abbey Theatre: the unpublished journal of the impressions of a Dublin playgoer (Southern Illinois University Press, 1967). The papers are still unsorted.
He presented 5 pictures from his collection to the RIAI shortly before bis death.(RIAI council meeting minutes, 1944).
IB 74, 19 Nov 1932, 1022.
An article by him on 'Caricature in Dublin' was published in AAI Green Book (1914), 25-30, and reprinted in IB 56, 25 Apr 1914, 252.
Undated newspaper cutting in Jones files, illustrated with a photograph of Holloway.
Irish Times, 14 Mar 1944.
Undated newspaper notice of funeral in Jones files.
From lists of AAI officers in AAI Green Books unless otherwise stated.
AAI Green Book (1918), 18; notice of death in AAI Green Book (1944), 36.
RIAI council meeting minutes, 3 Jun 1889, 273, 2 Dec 1889, 277.
Jones, citing RIAI minutes but reference not given.