The work of Limerick photographer Franz S. Haselbeck (1885-1973) was not fully appreciated in his lifetime, yet it forms one of the great Irish photographic collections. the breadth of subject matter and composition shows a photographer with a mastery of his craft as he chronicled an exciting period in Irish history. His archive has been painstakingly catalogued by his granddaughter, Patricia. Spanning six decades of major change, this selection is from almost 5,000 surviving images and documents, from the early 1900s to the 1960s. Having attended the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art and been indentured to Finnerty's Photographic Co. in Westmoreland St, Haselbeck travelled widely in Europe. After his return he was employed by the renowned Louis Anthony Studio in Killarney for three tourist seasons from 1910 to 1912. Haselbeck went on to set up his own studio in Limerick and work as a freelance photographer. His subjects were varied and included early tourism, studio portraits, the Irish Volunteers, British military, the RIC, Garda Siochana, sporting events, street scenes and the construction of the Shannon Scheme where he was employed by Siemens-Schuckert. Haselbeck was passionate about his work, consistently embracing new equipment and techniques. Now the skill and professionalism of this remarkable photographer can be fully appreciated by all.
Patricia Haselbeck Flynn has a background in tourism, the hotel industry and media in Ireland and the USA. She now works part-time at the University of Limerick as tutor on the AccessTransition to University Course. Since inheriting her grandfather's collection her ambition has been to ensure the conservation of Franz's life work. In 2010 she helped curate an exhibition of Haselbeck images, documents and photographic equipment at the Hunt Museum in Limerick and Dublin's Georgian House Museum at 29 Merrion Square. An expanded exhibition will be on view to the public as part of Limerick City of Culture 2014.