5 destinations to see Irish art

National Gallery of Ireland, photo by Mad-Lunatic on Flickr

Irish art has always had a place of its own in the international art world, and although it might not be as famous as French or Italian art, it is valuable and well appreciated by art lovers. Irish art as as varied as Irish culture itself, and traditional art has a well established place in Irish cultural life. From the ancient carvings discovered at Newgrange to gorgeous illuminated manuscripts in the Middle Ages and painting in the 19th and 20th centuries, Irish art has many sides to be discovered. There are countless places in Ireland where you can admire Irish art from its earlierst days to the works of contemporary artists. If you are an art lover visiting the Emerald Isle, here are 5 destinations to see Irish art.

National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin

The National Gallery of Ireland is naturally not limited to Irish Art (it has considerable collections of European art as well), but its highlight is definitely the collection of Irish art. Famous Irish painters like Sarah Purser, James Barry, Louis le Brocquy or John Lavery have some of their works exhibited at the gallery, but the most important part of the Irish collection is the one devoted to the Yeats family: John Butler Yeats and his son Jack B. Yeats.

Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin

Crawford Municipal Gallery, photo by LWY on Flickr

The Irish Museum of Modern Art regularly puts on exhibitions of works produced exclusively by modern and contemporary artists. The museum was opened two decades ago and it is housed in the 17th century Royal Hospital Kilmainham, a historic building that creates a nice contrast with the modern pieces displayed on the walls. Although the exhibitions are not exclusively devoted to Irish art, this is one of the best places in the country to see the contemporary Irish art scene.

Crawford Municipal Gallery, Cork

Crawford Municipal Gallery has been operating since the 1960’s, and it is located in the Cork Customs House dating back to the 18th century. This imposing Georgian building houses a large collection of Irish and European art, from the 17th century onward. One of the most interesting parts of the permanent collection is the tone devoted to Irish women artists.

Temple Bar Gallery and Studios

Irish Museum of Modern Art, photo by William Murphy on Flickr

One of the best destinations to see Irish art is Dublin, especially if you are interested in contemporary Visual Art. To see some less known and fresher works than in the museum of modern art, head to the Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, the most extensive collection of modern Irish visual arts.

Butler Gallery, Kilkenny

Butler Gallery has one of the most important collections of Irish and European art outside of Dublin, and it displays works by prominent Irish artists like Nathaniel Hone, Louis le Brocquy, Jack Butler Yeats, Barrie Cooke, Tony O’Malley, Mainie Jellett and many others. In addition to the permanent collection, there are temporary exhibitions with works by established and up-and-coming Irish artists.

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