With Ireland’s National Museums and Galleries located in Dublin, there’s plenty to see for the culturally inclined. Scattered around the city centre you’ll find the National Museum of Ireland, National Gallery and National Library. They provide a fascinating insight into the history and culture of the country and are highly recommended. There’s also a number of smaller galleries and museums in the city and even more going further afield to the county. You can browse the exhibitions in each of them here.
Little Museum of Dublin
A brilliant new addition, The Little Museum's tours reveal the history of a city that has undergone remarkable changes in the last 100 years, from the visit of Queen Victoria to the global success of U2.
Ireland's national museum spans three different sites in the city. Archaeology is located in Kildare St, Natural History in Merrion St and Decorative Arts & History at Collins Barracks, Benburb St. National Museum of Ireland is Ireland’s premier cultural institution and home to the greatest collections of Irish material heritage, culture.
EPIC tells the moving and unforgettable stories of those who left the island of Ireland, and how they influenced and shaped the world. EPIC embraces the past and the future with 1,500 years of Irish history and culture housed in its atmospheric vaults. The world’s only fully digital museum, experience this breathtaking story in state-of-the-art interactive galleries, complete with touch screens, motion sensor quizzes and a feast of powerful audio and video that bring Irish history to life. Watch characters from the past tell one-of-a-kind tales of adventure and perseverance, conflict and discovery, belief and community.
Holding more than 15,000 works with free admission, lectures, tours and workshops. Current exhibitions include James Stephens, the National Gallery of Ireland, and the 1916 Rising. The exhibition is based around this seminal chronicle of the Easter Rising in which Stephens mentions encounters with friends – many of them well-known cultural and political figures.
The gallery’s original collection of modern art was presented by Sir Hugh Lane in 1908 and, in the ethos of its founder the gallery continues to collect and exhibit modern and contemporary art. The Hugh Lane’s role has been enhanced over the years by notable bequests and gifts, including most recently, Francis Bacon’s Studio and Archive and Sean Scully’s gift of paintings.
Exhibits, talks and events at the national centre for photography in Ireland. Located in Temple Bar. The Gallery of Photography is the national centre for contemporary photography in Ireland and is a not-for-profit organisation, supported by the Arts Council and Dublin City Council.
Glasnevin Cemetery Museum, both the guardian and storyteller for over 1.5 million people. From the ordinary to the truly extraordinary, these people helped shape the Ireland of today. We want to share their stories and times with you through tours of the cemetery, a visit to the museum or through a genealogy search for your family history. We are a not-for-profit organisation and all proceeds are used to sustain and improve our cemeteries to ensure they are places of beauty, interest and intrigue. You can help us by Donating Online
The Irish Potato Famine was the most catastrophic event in Ireland's turbulent history. It is also regarded as being one of the worst Famines in history (deaths as a proportion to population). The use of the word 'Famine' in this context is controversial, for Ireland at the time was part of the richest Empire in the World (the British Empire). There was sufficient food in the country throughout the 'Famine' years, yet over a million people died from starvation and disease, and millions more were forced to flee. Some historians prefer to use the name 'Great Hunger' to describe this period of mass death from starvation and disease. This exhibition tells the story of what happened during those horrific years. Rare 19th century photographs, witness accounts, contemporary sketches as well as maps and statistical information are used. A 15 minute film with seating is included in the exhibition and the average time spent by visitors is 1 hour. This exhibition is dedicated to all victims of the Irish Potato Famine or The Great Hunger.
In 1991, the Dublin Writers Museum was opened to house a history and celebration of literary Dublin. Situated in a magnificent 18th century mansion in the north city centre, the collection features the lives and works of Dublin's literary celebrities over the past three hundred years.
Walking through Temple Bar on a midweek afternoon, the sounds of céilí bands and lads on guitars belting out U2 covers tumble out onto the street every time a pub door swings open.
Buskers are so much a part of Dublin culture that Glen Hansard starred in an Oscar winning film about them. Phil Lynott’s statue off Grafton Street is often draped in rocker pilgrims from around the world, a replica of Rory Gallagher’s rusty guitar hangs over his own designated corner near Meeting House Square, and Whelan’s is a mecca for any serious music lover. Dublin’s rock heritage is as legendary as its literary one, with the city punching well above its weight on the international scene
In a picture painted in 1916, Joanne Drum points out a dead body on O’Connell Bridge. In another picture, she spots a group of onlookers gathered high up on the parapet of a building. And in another she notices what’s written on the destination plate of a tram (Terenure) on College Green in 1901. Joanne is Education Officer at the National Gallery on Merrion Square. Joanne Drum: If you look at a picture with somebody standing beside you saying “have you noticed that tiny detail up in the corner?’, sometimes that can really bring it to life and make the whole experience more meaningful. More rich. Dublin.ie: This is the National Gallery of Ireland. But plenty of your pictures have Dublin as their subject, don’t they? Joanne Drum: Look at the work of Jack B Yeats – not only was he working in Dublin but he was painting and drawing and sketching what he saw around him all the time so he was kind of documenting the history of this city. And he was there at such an important time in history. This is a man who not only lived through two world wars but also all the conflict and change that was happening in Ireland at the time as well.
The afternoon is full of orange light and autumn leaves when I make my way down the path into IMMA. Not that all this gentle nature would have been of much artistic concern to Lucian Freud, the new star of the show around these parts. Freud was a visceral painter of the flesh, fascinated by the heft of a belly or the sag of the skin. Every good painting requires a little bit of poison, he said. IMMA’s new collection, The Freud Project, is comprised of fifty paintings and etchings on loan from private collections. The IMMA Garden Galleries are now the Freud Centre and there I meet Patricia Brennan of the Visitor Engagement Team who is happy to share some of her knowledge of the modern master.