National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History

Family & KidsFreeHistorical Sites
Benburb Street, Dublin 15 Museums & Attractions View full details & map
National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & HistoryPermanent Exhibitions:

Asgard - The 1914 Howth gun- running vessel conserved

The yacht Asgard is one of the most iconic items of recent Irish history. From her building in 1905 by Colin Archer, the great Norwegian naval architect, to her pivotal role in the 1914 Howth gun-running and her later use as Ireland’s first national sail-training vessel, the yacht has had many incarnations.
From 2007 to 2012, a major programme of conservation of Asgard was undertaken at Collins Barracks. The conservation team was led by Master Shipwright and Ship Conservator John Kearon, with the aim of conserving Asgard and in the process saving and securing as much existing original material as possible, while also retaining the structural integrity of the vessel.

Reconstructed Rooms: Four Centuries of Furnishings

Let the furniture galleries at the National Museum of Ireland lead you on a walk through time!
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.
The 20th century furniture gallery looks at Irish modernism from 1900 to the present day. On display is Irish furniture from various design movements, Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, Deco bedroom, to the thoroughly modernist style of the 1950s. It also displays the work of some of Ireland’s best contemporary furniture designers and leading wood turners.
Through accounts of times past, touching objects and reading about life during the periods in question, this exhibition 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.

Eileen Gray

The Eileen Gray exhibition is on permanent display at the Decorative Arts & History site, Collins Barracks. The exhibition posthumously realised one of Gray’s last ambitions – to have her work brought back to Ireland. Regarded as one of the most influential 20th Century designers and architects, the exhibition includes such important items as the adjustable chrome table and the non-conformist chair. The exhibition also values Gray on a personal level, including family photographs, her lacquering tools, and personal ephemera. It illustrates an account of her professional development from art student in London and Paris to mature, innovative architect. The exhibition honours the memory of Eileen Gray, modern self-taught architect and designer.

The Way We Wore – 250 Years of Irish Clothing and Jewellery

This exhibition displays clothing and jewellery worn in Ireland principally from the 1760s to the 1960s. Although many still think of ‘Irish Dress’ in the context of woollens worn in the West of Ireland, this exhibition shows that in the past the majority of Irish people, even those who wore locally woven fabrics (silk, linen, wool and cotton), dressed in styles that competed with the fashion conscious of Europe. The exhibition of jewellery features some of the materials from which jewellery has been made, the variety of reasons for wearing jewellery, and the range of styles that people have bought and worn over the last few centuries.

Curators' Choice

This exhibition comprises 25 objects chosen by the Museum’s own curators in the Art & Industrial division. Special attention in this gallery is given to the Fonthill Vase – the earliest documented piece of Chinese porcelain in Europe, regarded as one of the Museum's great international treasures. Among the other objects in this exhibition is a Japanese ceremonial bell over 2,000 years old and the decorative gauntlets worn by King William at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

Out of Storage

This double-height gallery is designed to give the visitor an impression of the range of artefacts in the reserve collections of the National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History.
See everything from large medieval wooden sculpture to delicate lace and explore the vast array of objects through the interactive multimedia kiosks in the gallery.

Irish Silver

One of the largest collections of Irish silver in the world, this exhibition traces the development of the silversmith’s craft from the early 17th Century to the present day. It addresses the evolution of design and examines the mining, assaying, and crafting of this precious metal. It also illustrates the various uses of silver - religious, domestic and ceremonial and by means of vignettes seeks to place the objects in their historical and economic context.

Airgead, A Thousand Years of Irish Coins & Currency

This exhibition tells the story of coins and money in Ireland from the 10th Century to the present day - ranging from medieval coins and coin-hoards to modern banknotes. Related material such as tokens and medals are also displayed. The exhibition also traces the development of paper money from the 18th Century to the present, finishing with credit cards and Internet banking.

What's In Store?

For the first time in the history of the National Museum of Ireland, artefacts normally kept in storage will be accessible to everyone. This storage facility is part of an effort to make publicly visible some of the most important collections from the Museum. The entire national collections of glass, silver, pewter, brass, enamel and Asian applied arts are shown.
What’s in Store? is a fascinating array of artefacts that is guaranteed to captivate the imagination of young and old alike. The National Museum of Ireland is pleased to provide this increased access to our history and heritage in the form of this modern visible storage facility.

The Easter Rising: Understanding 1916

This exhibition examines the decade of disturbance between 1913 and 1923, from the Dublin Lockout, through the Easter Rising to the end of the Civil War.
The social, economic and cultural background to the Rising is explored, concentrating on the political dimension and the personalities involved. The exhibition describes the main events of Easter Week, outlining the locations of the garrisons and incorporating biographical details of the leaders.
An original copy of the Proclamation of the Republic, as read by Pádraig Pearse outside the General Post Office on Easter Monday, occupies a central position in the exhibition.
The change in public opinion to one of support for the Rising, triggered by the execution of 16 of the leaders, is examined. In the immediate aftermath of the Rising, thousands of insurgents were interned in various prisons, and examples of the nationalistic artworks produced by these prisoners are exhibited. The War of Independence (1919 - 1921), culminating in the Anglo-Irish Treaty, and the Civil War (1922 - 1923), are also examined.
There is also a unique opportunity to view the beautifully illuminated manuscript Leabhar na hAiséirghe (Book of the Resurrection), created by the artist-scribe Art O’Murnaghan between 1922 and 1951 to commemorate those who had died in the struggle for independence, and to celebrate the 'resurgent spirit of the nation'.

A Dubliner’s Collection of Asian Art – The Albert Bender Exhibition

’A Dubliner’s Collection of Asian Art: The Albert Bender Exhibition’ opened at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks in November 2008.
Since its opening it has helped bring to the public’s attention (both Irish and international) this highly important Asian art collection given to the National Museum during the 1930s by the great Irish-American Albert Bender.
On exhibition in the National Museum, Kildare Street up to the early 1970s, this is, however, the first significant modern display of objects from the collection in over three decades.
You can view a few of the outstanding examples of Asian art on display in the exhibition via the links below, but why stop there? Come and discover this beautiful collection for yourself.

Irish Country Furniture

This exhibition contains the furniture typically found in the traditional rural Irish home. It shows both the range of styles from different areas of the country, the functional nature of each piece, and the skill of native Irish craftsmen. The display also highlights the evolution and development of traditional furniture and furnishings as Ireland’s social and economic circumstances changed through the 19th and 20th centuries.
The full range of furniture and domestic fittings required to furnish a country home is presented to the visitor in its social context, including dressers, beds, seating and hearth furniture.

Soldiers and Chiefs: The Irish at War at Home and Abroad, 1550-2001

Over 1,000 objects from all over the world cover 1,700 square metres of Collins Barracks as the Soldiers & Chiefs exhibition traces Ireland's military history from 1550 into the 21st Century.
Original artefacts, such as the Stokes Tapastry, letters, replicas and interactives show how soldiering and war have affected the lives of Irish people over the centuries.
Broken down into three themes, Soldiers & Chiefs looks at Irish soldiers at home, Irish soldiers abroad, and Irish soldiers in the 21st Century.

Events @ National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History

  • November 15th, 2015 to November 30th, 2015
    Where: National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History
    Category: Museums & Attractions ·
    Talk: 1916 in Objects Sun 22nd 3-3:45pm Talk Adults Join historian Brenda Malone in the Soldiers & Chiefs exhibition for a gallery talk about 10 objects from the 1916 Rising, and what storie... View details

  • December 18th, 2015
    Where: National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History
    Category: Historical Sites ·
    A new monthly tour for parents, grandparents or carers with pre-toddler age children. Buggies welcome! Please note that places are limited and are allocated on a first come, first served basis. View details

  • See the National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History website (if one is input).

    Detail & Map

    Venue & Address
    Benburb Street, Dublin 15

    Transport facilities

    Tue - Sat 10am-5pm; Sun 2pm-5pm; Closed Mondays and Bank Holidays

    +353 0 1 6777444

    National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History

    Accepted/Not necessary

    Payment methods

    Estimate of the co-ords for
    National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History, Benburb Street, Dublin 15
    53.3472804 -6.2814778
    /* * EOF */