Art / Photographic Exhibitions in Dublin

An Art and Photographic Exhibitions guide for Dublin. All events may not be listed. For further details please visit the venue website.

You can scroll down through the page or jump to a particular venue by clicking on a link below:

A curated list of other events across the city and county can be found in our What’s On section here.

Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane

Niamh McCann – Furtive Tears

Furtive Tears is a project by Niamh McCann that explores the dynamic relationship between the audience, object and mode of display. In her new installation at the Hugh Lane, McCann brings together the protagonists Edward Carson (politician) and Hans Poelzig (architect and set designer) and the vestiges of their mythologies to portray the internal language of gesture, meaning, inference and allegiance. It is an exploration of the importance of a viewer’s perspective when confronted with the act of looking and the reading of objects within the context of a constructed landscape. Weaving fact, fiction and history, the installation reveals how we look and how we are looked upon. The work addresses how the mind navigates the perpetual process of coding and decoding our own behaviours when negotiating the positions we take up in society.


Stained Glass Room

Beside the gallery's reception is the stained glass room, which contains the remarkable and ever popular Harry Clarke piece The Eve of St. Agnes and the recently acquired 'Mr Gilhooley by Liam O'Flaherty' for the Geneva Window, 1929, by Clarke. The room also features work by Wilhelmina Geddes, Evie Hone, Paul Bony and James Scanlon.


Permanent Collection

Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane houses the foremost collection of modern and contemporary art in Ireland. Established in 1908 by Sir Hugh Lane and his supporters with Dublin Corporation the collection has grown considerably with acquisitions in both traditional art forms and new media. The gallery has benefited from significant bequests including Lady Lavery Memorial Bequest 1935, Francis Bacon's Studio 1998, Seán Scully Collection 2005, and gifts from including, The Friends of the National Collections of Ireland, The contemporary Irish Arts Society as well as from individuals.


IMMA - The Irish Museum of Modern Art

Garrett Phelan – Trusted Servant

As part of the group exhibition, .all hawaii eNtrées / luNar reGGae, artist Garrett Phelan was invited by the curators to officially close the exhibition with his project Trusted Servant. Trusted Servant, 2007 continues on YouTube, holding the exhibition open endlessly. At Phelan's conceptual discretion it may be removed, and in so doing will mark the official end of the exhibition.


Mary Swanzy – Voyages

Mary Swanzy (1882-1978) is a unique Irish artist. Her level of achievement, world travel and original thinking is unmatched in Irish art, yet this is the first retrospective of her work in 50 years. Born in the late Victorian era, by her early twenties Swanzy had mastered the academic style of painting. She witnessed the birth of Modern art in Paris before the First World War and her work rapidly evolved through the different styles of the day, each of them interpreted and transformed by her in a highly personal way. In 1920, against the background of violence of the Irish War of Independence, she left Ireland in a form of self-imposed exile. Travelling first through Eastern Europe and the Balkans, she then sailed to Hawaii and Samoa from 1923 to 24 - literally crossing the globe. While there she produced a body of work that is unique in an Irish context with images that show her proto-feminism and critique of the colonial system.


IMMA Collection: Freud Project – Gaze

IMMA Collection: Freud Project is a major five-year initiative for IMMA, where fifty-two works by painter Lucian Freud (1922-2011) have been lent to the museum's Collection by private lenders. During this unique project, IMMA will present a series of Freud-related exhibitions each year. The third exhibition in the series, Gaze, continues to actively explore Freud's practice by positioning other works from the IMMA Collection alongside selected works by Freud.


National Gallery of Ireland

Making their Mark: Irish Painter-Etchers & the Etching Revival

This exhibition introduces audiences to the work of early modern painter-etchers of Irish birth or heritage. These artists made a significant contribution to the so-called Etching Revival of the 1880's, earning the recognition of their peers and contemporary art critics. Key works by Robert Goff, Edward Millington Synge, Percy Gethin, Roderic O'Conor, William Booth Pearsall, Estella Solomons, and Stella Steyn are included. The etchings of Irish artists are shown alongside examples by Whistler, Séguin and other Etching Revival printmakers who had a direct influence on their work. An illustrated catalogue presents new research on this all-but-forgotten aspect of Irish art, addressing the motivations and challenges faced by Irish printmakers within the context of the Etching Revival and contemporary Irish art. The exhibition features works from the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, and the Crawford Municipal Art Gallery as well as prints from the British Museum, the Ashmolean, Oxford, and private collections.Curators: Dr Angela Griffith, Trinity College Dublin and; Anne Hodge, National Gallery of Ireland.


Markievicz: Portraits and Propaganda

Constance Markievicz, née Gore-Booth (1868-1927), was a leading figure of the Irish revolutionary period, playing a prominent role in the struggle for women's suffrage and the fight for Irish independence. A trained artist, Markievicz recognised the potential of portraiture for political expression and propaganda. Presenting herself as Joan of Arc or a militant republican, she used portrait photography to shape her public identity.


[In]Visible: Irish Women Artists from the Archives

Letters, scrapbooks, photographs, and art materials will shed light on the education, career and recognition of artists such as Mary Swanzy, Sarah Purser, Mainie Jellett, Elizabeth Corbet Yeats and Evie Hone. The exhibition showcases archival material related to Irish women artists, drawn from the collection of the ESB Centre for the Study of Irish Art, marking the start of the digitisation project Source - an ambitious three-year project to catalogue the Gallery's archive and library collections relating to Irish art, and make them accessible online.


Guercino Varnish Removal

National Library of Ireland

From Ballots to Bullets, Ireland 1918-1919

From Ballots to Bullets, Ireland 1918-1919 – is open every day at the Photographic Archive, Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin. You are invited you to share in a selection of events and stories from these two turbulent years as Ireland moved From Ballots to Bullets, with photographs, newspapers, and ephemera from the collections of the National Library of Ireland. From Ballots to Bullets, Ireland 1918-1919 is a free exhibition, open 7 days: Monday-Saturday 10:00-16:45 & Sunday/Bank Holidays 12:00-16:45.


Séamus Heaney: Listen Now Again

"Séamus Heaney: Listen Now Again" exhibition is at the new Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre at College Green – entrance via Westmoreland Street. The exhibition will run for three years. Free entry. Open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm. Last admission is 3.30pm. A partnership project between the NLI, the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Bank of Ireland, the exhibition draws on the National Library's extensive archive of Heaney documents and features Heaney's original manuscripts as well as letters, unpublished works, diary entries, photographs, note books, and multi-media recordings. This is the first exhibition to be housed in the new Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre within Bank of Ireland's College Green complex. Curated by Professor Geraldine Higgins, Director of Irish Studies at Emory University, and designed by Ralph Appelbaum and Associates, the exhibition takes the visitor on a multi-sensory journey from Heaney's origins through his remarkable poetic career.


YEATS: The Life and Works of William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) was one of the great poets of the twentieth century. He created works that are widely known and loved. Yeats was a man of many interests - Ireland, literature, folklore, theatre, politics, the occult - and a significant influence on modern Irish cultural identity. We are indebted to members of the Yeats family who donated a large and invaluable collection of WB Yeats' manuscripts and books to the National Library of Ireland. This exhibition, based in the main building, celebrates that collection. Free Entry: Monday-Wednesday 9:30am-7:45pm. Thursday-Saturday 9:30am-4:45pm. Sunday 1:00pm-4:45pm.


National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology

Roger Casement – voice of the voiceless

A temporary exhibition to commemorate Roger Casement’s work as a humanitarian opened at the National Museum of Ireland on the 100th anniversary of his death on 3rd August 2016. Although Roger Casement is recognised for his role in the 1916 Rising, his humanitarian work investigating atrocities in the rubber trade in Africa and South America is less well-known. This exhibition uses some of the objects he collected during his time in Africa and South America to tell the story of this part of his life and the story of the victims of slavery and forced labour he worked for. On display are butterflies collected in present day Colombia, items used in rubber collecting in present day Democratic Republic of Congo and objects made by skilled Congolese and Amazonian crafts people. The exhibition concludes with a panel dealing with modern day slavery and oppression of tribal people.


Clontarf 1014: Brian Boru and the Battle for Dublin

The Battle of Clontarf was fought a thousand years ago – Good Friday (23rd April), 1014. The National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology is marking this anniversary with an exciting exhibition. Clontarf is probably the best-known battle in Irish history, but also one of the least understood. Popular perception sees the battle as the great victory where the Christian king of Ireland, Brian Boru, defeated the pagan Vikings and drove them out of Ireland. But is this correct? This ground-breaking exhibition explodes myths and presents the evidence we have for what actually happened at Clontarf, what led up to the battle and what resulted from it.


Rites of Passage at Tara

The Mound of the Hostages, or Duma na nGiall, is the oldest visible monument on the Hill of Tara. The mound covers a burial monument called a passage tomb built in the period just before 3000 BC, which was used as a place to bury human remains for more than 1,500 years. The mound lies near the northern edge of a large enclosure called Ráith na Ríg or Fort of the Kings. The line of this enclosure was laid out so that the ancient mound would lie within it thus respecting its importance. The enclosure was built around 100 BC.


Medieval Ireland 1150-1550

The exhibition contains three galleries entitled Power, Work and Prayer, reflecting the three-fold division of medieval society - nobles, common people and clergy. The lifestyle of nobles is explored, while surviving arms and armour reflect the distinctive characteristics of warfare in medieval Ireland. The exhibition looks at the different forms of agriculture (pastoral and arable), which were practiced. Finds from urban excavations illustrate Ireland’s import trade and the various crafts and industries operating in towns. The Irish church changed fundamentally in the 12th Century, although many older church traditions survived. The exhibition also looks at religious practice and devotion as well as church furnishings, including a fine selection of late medieval reliquaries: book shrines, bell shrines and croziers.


Kingship and Sacrifice

Following the discoveries of Iron Age bog bodies at Oldcroghan, Co. Offaly and Clonycavan, Co. Meath in 2003, a team of international specialists worked with the Irish Antiquities Division and Conservation Department to examine these human remains. Kingship and Sacrifice gives an overview of the results of the analysis and, along with other bog bodies from Museum collections, offers an opportunity to literally come ‘face to face’ with the past. The exhibition is based around the theory that human sacrifice and the deposition of the victims in bogs along tribal boundaries is related to sovereignty and kingship rituals during the Iron Age. Other related material displayed includes items of royal regalia, horse trappings, weapons, feasting utensils, boundary markers and votive deposits of butter known as bog butter.


Prehistoric Ireland

Explore human settlement in Ireland from the stone tools of the first hunter-gatherers around 7000 BC, to the bronze weapons of the Late Bronze Age around 500 BC. A reconstructed Passage Tomb provides a backdrop to the tools, pottery and personal objects of the Neolithic farmers, including a beautifully decorated flint mace head from Knowth, one of the three famous passage tombs of Brú na Bóinne with Newgrange and Dowth, Co. Meath. The introduction of metalworking around 2500 BC and its development are documented. Copper axes and daggers, shields, cauldrons and cast bronze horns (the earliest known Irish musical instruments) are displayed.


National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History

Caution! Fragile – Irish Glass Tradition in Transition

In collaboration with Róisín de Buitléar, Fred Curtis, Eamonn Hartley, and Greg Sullivan, three masters of glass cutting and engraving from Waterford create an exhibition; CAUTION! Fragile, Irish glass – Tradition in Transition. Collectively considered, the work comments on the history and social experience of working in the Waterford Crystal factory and living in Ireland. CAUTION! Fragile not only refers to the delicate nature of glass, but is also an appeal to cherish and respect the long tradition of glass engraving and cutting in Ireland.


War in the Mud, The Irish soldier in Belgium in the summer of 1917

In 1917, two Irish Divisions fought side-by-side, in victory and then in defeat. In June 1917, the 36th (Ulster) and 16th (Irish) Divisions benefited from careful preparation and good luck to eject well-entrenched German forces from the important Messines Ridge. The preliminary artillery bombardment was unprecedented in its intensity - three shells exploded on the German lines every second for 12 days. This was followed by the exploding of 19 mines under the German lines killing 10,000 German soldiers. Two months later, the same two divisions suffered terrible casualties in assaulting concrete fortifications amid the mud of an unusually wet autumn at the Battle of Langemarck.


Proclaiming a Republic: The 1916 Rising

The National Museum of Ireland has a long tradition of exhibitions relating to Easter Week 1916. The Museum has put on show one of the largest displays of materials from this period in a this new exhibition entitled Proclaiming a Republic: The 1916 Rising at the Museum of Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, opened on 3rd March, 2016. Many of the exhibited objects have never been on public display before while others, such as the Irish Republic flag which flew over the GPO, have been specially conserved.


21st Century Irish Craft

The exhibition, 21st Century Irish Craft, showcases contemporary Irish material in the national collection. In 2004 the National Museum of Ireland and the Crafts Council of Ireland, (renamed the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland in 2014), established a joint purchase fund to acquire pieces for a contemporary Irish craft collection as part of the museum’s decorative arts collections. A selection of objects, acquired through the fund, is now on display at the National Museum of Ireland: Decorative Arts and History and includes examples of the best of Irish ceramics, glass, furniture, wood turning, jewellery, accessories and silverware. The collecting of contemporary high quality works from Ireland’s leading designer-makers for the national collection is a way of preserving tomorrow’s antiques for future generations. The primary value such contemporary collecting affords is the visual strength of the objects acquired on behalf of the Irish people, and the preservation of the skills involved in their making.


Reconstructed Rooms: Four Centuries of Furnishings

Through accounts of times past, touching objects and reading about life during the periods in question, Reconstructed Rooms: Four Centuries of Furnishings traces the development of furniture in Ireland from 1600 through to the present day. It has accompanying interactive gallery which invites visitors to touch, examine, explore and learn about chair design over the past two hundred years. The material is displayed in a series of room settings, from the 17th century with oak furniture and panelling, through the refined splendour of Georgian Ireland to the high style of the 19th century. The exhibition also shows some of the international furniture collection, not exhibited for many decades. The galleries are visually enhanced by objects, such as textiles, silverware, glass and ceramics, from other collections.


Airgead: A Thousand Years of Irish Coins & Currency

Medieval coins and coin-hoards, to modern banknotes; tokens and medals; the development of paper money from the 18th century to the present; credit cards and internet banking: the purpose of Airgead exhibition is to place coins in their historical, social, and economic context. Airgead examines the manner in which the lives of people were influenced by the use of money and how money in turn reflected social and economic trends. With regard to the medals, it explores their historical significance in their own right and throws light on some of the lesser-known events and aspects of Irish history.


National Museum of Ireland - Natural History

Irish Fauna

The animals found in Ireland today inhabit a landscape that was scoured by ice on a number of occasions over the last 100,000 years. At the later stages of this Ice Age, animals such as the giant deer Megaloceros giganteus lived in an Ireland with a climate similar to ours. They shared their landscape with woolly mammoths, spotted hyenas and brown bears. Ireland has few mammal species, compared with other European countries. Only certain species travelled into Ireland before the island was separated from Britain and northwest Europe at the end of the Ice Age. Since then, many species have been introduced by humans. For example, the rabbit, which was introduced by Anglo-Normans in the 12th Century.


Mammals of the World

The first floor of the Museum is home to the lemurs, apes and monkeys that make up the group known as primates, to which we also belong. Among these, monkeys such as the brown capuchin Cebus apella typify the characteristics that this group shares with us. The eyes face forwards, providing good vision in front, which developed for a life in the trees where the ability to judge distances is crucial. A second feature common to the animals in this group is the opposable thumb on each hand, which allows them to hold on to branches. Many of the primates can do this with their feet as well as their hands, and some have tails that can grasp branches to help their balance in the forest canopy.


3D Virtual Visit – Natural History

These views of National Museum of Ireland - Natural History, include two balconies that are currently closed to the public following a safety review. While there are too few emergency exits from upper levels to allow for visitor access these virtual tours give you a chance for a virtual visit. To make a virtual visit to one of the four floor levels of the museum, just click on one of the four 3D Showcases below. These take a short time to load and are then best viewed at full screen. These interactive presentations were created by Domavue and require up to date versions of Internet browsers (Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox).


RHA - Royal Hibernian Academy

Futures, Series 3, Episode 2

This exhibition is the second in the third series of Futures, a sequence of exhibitions that endeavours to document and contextualise the work of early career artists, around who exists a growing critical and curatorial consensus. The artists in Futures, Series 3, Episode 2, are selected from various artist-led initiatives, group shows and over a series of studio visits undertaken in the last 18 months by Patrick T. Murphy, RHA Director and Ruth Carroll, Curator. The artists chosen for this year's Futures exhibition are; Bassam Al-Sabah, Cecilia Danell, Laura Fitzgerald, Jennifer Mehigan, Joanne Reid and Marcel Vidal.


Paul Hallahan – we

Hallahan's exhibition, we, takes its title from the book by Yevgeny Zamyatin published in 1924. The Zamyatin story is set in a world where the population is separated from the natural world by a green wall and citizens are given numbers instead of names. Structure and order are considered the only way of life. Zamyatin's book is a precursor to Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, published in 1932 and George Orwell's 1984, published in 1949.


Methodist Art Collection – Faith and the Artist

The Methodist Church's Collection of modern art on Christian themes was started almost sixty years ago, and now includes about 50 works by English and other international artists. It was the initiative in the early 1960s, of a Methodist layman, Dr. John Morel Gibbs, who believed that the quality of religious art and church furnishings was poor and hoped that an extensively exhibited collection would help draw attention to the situation and encourage a more imaginative approach to the commissioning and buying of painting, sculpture and church furnishings.


The Little Museum of Dublin

Women’s History of Ireland

Women have always played a part in Ireland's history- but their contribution has not always been recognised. Sarah Costigan shares the fascinating role of women in Irish history. Join Sarah every Wednesday morning at 10am, as she tells you the story of Ireland's famous female pioneers, from Mary Heath and Countess Markievicz to Maureen O'Hara and Mary Robinson.


The Alfie Byrne Collection

Alfie Byrne was the most popular Dublin-born politician of the 20th Century. Until recently he had never been the subject of a biography or an exhibition in his hometown. Byrne's personal archive is now on view in the Little Museum. Elected as Lord Mayor of Dublin a record ten times, Alfie Byrne was called the “Shaking hand of Dublin” and “Alfred the Great” by the press, but Dubliners knew him simply as “Alfie.” Even today, nearly 60 years after his death, many Dubliners remember this short, dapper figure with affection. But his achievements have not been officially recognised and he hardly gets a mention in most histories of modern Ireland.


U2: Made in Dublin

Ireland's greatest rock band has finally got the exhibition it deserves. U2: Made in Dublin charts the story of the band over the last 40 years. This fan-curated exhibition features musical rarities, signed albums and some great photography, alongside delights such as a Trabant car, an oversize Gibson Explorer, a life-size sculpture of MacPhisto and even a pack of U2 condoms. The exhibition was created by fans of the band along with some of Ireland’s best photographers and artists, as a tribute to U2 and a celebration of their roots in the local music scene of the 1970s.


Other Current Exhibitions

Gift of a lifetime: Treasures from Chester Beatty’s Collection

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Sir Alfred Chester Beatty's magnificent bequest, Gift of a Lifetime presents a choice selection of masterpieces from this unique collection. An internationally successful mining magnate and generous philanthropist, Beatty was one of the most prolific and discerning collectors of his generation. From his early years in New York, through his career in London and travels overseas, Beatty acquired rare books, manuscripts and decorative arts of the highest quality and rarity from Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Runs October 19th, 2018 – April 28th, 2019.



Is technology disrupting traditional notions of togetherness, opening new avenues for connection, or killing off closeness altogether? What is intimacy, and can it be quantified, optimised, or commodified? Does INTIMACY hide in surprising places, or in plain sight? And will technology compromise the future of human connection, or bring us all together in new and exciting ways? There has never been a more important time to examine the way we relate to each other, and ask whether our definition of togetherness needs a reboot.


The Irish Potato Famine

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.