The National Gallery in Ireland was officially opened on the 30th of January 1864 by the Earl of Carlisle after many ventures had been made to see it come to fruition. What had been an art exhibition started by William Dargan in June 1852, made to imitate the great exhibition at the London Crystal Palace the previous year, would be developed into a National Gallery whose board members would come from the Irish Institution. At the time of opening, the Gallery was home to a 112 picture collection, which had 39 works being brought in from Rome, whilst another 30 was loaned from the London National Gallery.

Discovering the National Gallery in Dublin

The National Gallery of Ireland is found in the centre of Dublin open to the public with two entrances. One entrance is on Merrion Square, while the other is on Clare Street. The Gallery houses a collection of 14000 artworks which include oil paintings, canvas drawings, printed artworks, concept furniture, moulded sculptures and other works of art which are of the same calibre. The current director, Sean Rainbird has maintained the Gallery’s ethos in representing the works of Irish and European artists, notably those whose works circulate around the Italian Baroque eras, and the Dutch Master’s paintings.

What Activities You Can Find

The National Art Gallery in Ireland is very family orientated and quite big on sharing its collections with the public, thus making a visit to it free of charge. Opening hours are daily from 8.30-6.00pm, sometimes 5.30pm for special occasions. The Gallery then also runs a series of projects geared towards different age groups and community members. For one, you can take your children and teens in for free workshops and mid-term courses geared around raising the next Picasso. An education programme for teens and adults interested in professional arts is also available to take part in, as well as continuous Community Engagement Projects.