Now that the Masterpiece: Ireland's Favourite Painting campaign is up and running, it's a great time to go and visit a gallery near you, or to try to see some of the works on our long and short lists for yourself. Here's some information about galleries all across Ireland which house public art collections and where you'll be able to see works by some of the artists on our long and short lists.
THE BUTLER GALLERY
Phone: (056) 776 1106
The Butler Gallery is committed to exhibiting the work of young and emerging artists alongside renowned international artists. We support and promote the development of artists careers through a wide range of professional development services.
The Butler Gallery Permanent Collection was established in 1943. The collection includes works by Tony O'Malley, Jack B. Yeats, Sir John Lavery, Evie Hone, Sean McSweeney, Maine Jellet, Gerard Dillon, Louis le Brocquy, Dorothy Cross, Felim Egan and Tony Cragg.
CHESTER BEATTY LIBRARY
Phone: (01) 407 0750
Described by the Lonely Planet as not just the best museum in Ireland, but one of the best in Europe, the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin is an art museum and library which houses the great collection of manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints, drawings, rare books and some decorative arts assembled by Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875-1968).
Its rich collection from countries across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe opens a window on the artistic treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world. Chester Beatty Library was named Irish Museum of the year in 2000 and was awarded the title European Museum of the Year in 2002.
Egyptian papyrus texts, beautifully illuminated copies of the Qur'an, the Bible, European medieval and renaissance manuscripts are among the highlights of the collection. In its diversity, the collection captures much of the richness of human creative expression from about 2700 BC to the present day.
CRAWFORD ART GALLERY
Phone: (021) 427 3377
Crawford Art Gallery, a National Cultural Institiution and regional art museum for Munster, is dedicated to the visual arts, both historic and contemporary. Located in the heart of Cork city, beside the Opera House, the Gallery is a critical part of Ireland's cultural and tourism infrastructure, welcoming over 200,000 visitors a year.
The Gallery's permanent collection comprises over 2000 works, ranging from eighteenth-century Irish and European painting and sculpture, through to contemporary video installations. At the heart of the collection is a collection of Greek and Roman sculpture casts, brought to Cork in 1818 from the Vatican Museum in Rome. The collection is particularly strong in Irish art of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including works by James Barry, Daniel Maclise, William Leech, Mainie Jellett, Nano Reid, Maurice MacGonigal and the drawings of Harry Clarke.
DUBLIN CITY GALLERY THE HUGH LANE
22 Parnell Square North
Phone: (01) 222 5550
Located in Dublin's city centre, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, originally called The Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, houses one of Ireland's foremost collections of modern and contemporary art. The original collection, donated by the Gallery's founder Sir Hugh Lane in 1908, has now grown to include over 2000 artworks, ranging from the Impressionist masterpieces of Manet, Monet, Renoir and Degas to works by leading national and international contemporary artists. The Gallery presents dynamic schedules of temporary exhibitions, seminars and public lectures, publications and educational projects.
The Hugh Lane's role as a leading museum of modern and contemporary art was enhanced with the acquisition of the entire contents of Francis Bacon's Studio, donated by Bacon's sole heir John Edwards. The studio, located at 7 Reece Mews, London, was relocated to Dublin in 1998 and opened to the public on 23 May 2001. It provides invaluable insight into the artist's life, inspirations, unusual techniques and working methods. Never before has an artist's studio been so thoroughly catalogued and reconstructed.
GREYFRIARS MUNICIPAL ARTS GALLERY
Phone: (051) 849 856
Built in the early 19th century, this late Victorian church built in gothic revival style was home to the Waterford Methodists until 1973. It was bought by Waterford City Council in 1989 and is the permanent home for the Municipal Art Collection, "A Gem Among Municipal Collections": over 200 paintings by Irish and international artists, including pieces from renowned Irish artists such as Jack B. Yeats, Paul Henry, Charles Lamb and Louis le Brocquy.
Phone: (041) 980 3311
Highlanes Municipal Art Gallery opened its doors on October 4, 2006 and was the culmination of many years planning to deliver a dedicated visual art space for the Irish north east region, of an international standard in terms of design, management, environmental control and security.
The gallery is sited in the former Drogheda Franciscan Church and part of the Friary; known locally as the ‘High Lane Church'. The main exhibition spaces are open plan and include the old Church level and a new floor at the height of the old balcony and as such, the character of the building is not lost.
Work in the permanent collection includes the artists Nano Reid, Mainie Jellett, Gerard Dillon, Grace Henry, Mervyn Peake, William Leech and a lithograph by James Whistler.
THE HUNT MUSEUM
Phone: (061) 312.833
The Hunt Museum houses a diverse collection of antiquities and fine and decorative art. It reflects the tastes and interests of the two people who formed it, John and Gertrude Hunt. There are artefacts from Greece, Rome, Egypt and the Olmec civilisation. There is also an important collection of Irish archaeological material ranging from Neolithic flints and Bronze Age material, including a Bronze Age shield and cauldron, to later Christian objects such as the unique 9th century Antrim Cross.
One of the strengths of the collection is the medieval material, which includes statues in stone and wood, painted panels, jewellery, enamels, ivories, ceramics, crystal and crucifixes. 18th and 19th century decorative arts are also represented with fine examples of silver, glass and ceramics.
Artists' works in the collection include Pablo Picasso, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Roderic O'Conor, Jack B. Yeats, Robert Fagan and Henry Moore.
IMMA (IRISH MUSEUM OF MODERN ART)
Phone: (01) 612 9900
The Irish Museum of Modern Art is Ireland's leading national institution for the collection and presentation of modern and contemporary art. The Museum presents a wide variety of art in a dynamic programme of exhibitions, which regularly includes bodies of work from its own Collection and its award-winning Education and Community Department. It also creates more widespread access to art and artists through its Studio and National programmes.
The permanent Collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art comprises some 1,650 works. The collection reflects some of the most exciting trends in Irish and international art with lens-based work by Marina Abramovic, James Coleman, Willie Doherty, Gilbert and George, Candida Höfer, Pierre Huyghe, Philippe Parreno, Issac Julien, and Paul Seawright, installations by Gerard Byrne, Liam Gillick, Ann Hamilton, and llya and Emilia Kabakov. Also, sculpture by Stephan Balkenhol, Dorothy Cross, Iran do Espírito Santo, Juan Munoz, Kathy Prendergast, Rebecca Horn and Corban Walker; and paintings by Barrie Cooke, Howard Hodgkin, Tony O'Malley, Philip Taaffe, Juan Uslé, and Jack B. Yeats.
Major donations include a wide variety of modern and contemporary art, including paintings by Basil Blackshaw, Cecil King and Sean Scully, sculptural works by Louise Bourgeois, Barry Flanagan and James McKenna and a film installation by Neil Jordan.
Owing to essential and extensive refurbishing works, the main building at IMMA will be closed until 31 December 2012. From 31 May 2012 the Irish Museum of Modern Art's exhibitions programme will be based in two separate locations – the New Galleries in the grounds of the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham and the ground floor exhibition spaces in the National Concert Hall building in Earlsfort Terrace. IMMA will also present its full range of tours and lectures and its children's, young people's, adult and education programmes in both locations.
LIMERICK CITY GALLERY OF ART
Phone: (061) 310 633
The LCGA Collection began in 1936 when a committee was formed to collect artworks for the gallery. Limerick City Gallery of Art now holds an important and highly significant permanent art collection of 831 historic and contemporary works from 456 artists including Paul Henry, Sean Keating, Sir John Lavery, Sir William Orpen, John Shinnors and Camille Souter and Jack B Yeats. It traces the development of modern Irish art in painting, sculpture, drawing, photography and new media.
The National Collection of Contemporary Drawing was also begun by a group of local artists and business people who donated the proceeds of their initial efforts to the gallery with the proviso that the collection be named the ‘National Collection of Contemporary Drawing'. Since then the gallery has taken on the ambition to develop this collection so as to be fully worthy of the title. The collection currently holds over 200 pieces and has given the impetus to attract exhibitions specifically dedicated to contemporary drawing in Ireland and abroad.
The Michael O'Connor Poster Collection is a singular eclectic gathering of international posters of historical and cultural significance. Comprising of over 2,800 items, the collection was generously donated by avid collector Michael O'Connor.
Phone: (071) 914 1405
The Model, home of The Niland Collection, is one of Ireland's leading contemporary arts centres. Built in 1862 as a Model School, the present building has been extended twice. The building boasts a restaurant and coffee dock, a bookshop, a wonderful gallery circuit, a purpose built performance space, and a suite of impressive artist studios on the top floor with enviable views of Sligo town and County.
This award-winning building is home to the impressive Niland Collection of art, one of the most notable collections in Ireland and featuring works by John and Jack B. Yeats, Estella Solomons, Paul Henry and Louis leBrocquy among others.
NATIONAL GALLERY OF IRELAND
Merrion Square West and Clare Street
Phone: (01) 661 5133
The National Gallery houses some 15,000 paintings, sculptures, works on paper and objets d'art dating from the early thirteenth century through to the mid-twentieth century.
The collection boasts an impressive range of masterpieces by artists from the major European schools of art (including works by Caravaggio, Vermeer, Van Gogh, Velázquez and Picasso) whilst also featuring the world's most comprehensive collection of Irish art.
The entrance at Merrion Square entrance is now closed to facilitate ongoing refurbishment of the Dargan and Milltown Wings. Visitors are directed to access the Gallery via the Millennium Wing at Clare Street.
The Gallery is committed to keeping highlights of the collection on display during the course of the refurbishment. Now on view in the Millennium Wing and Beit Wing (rooms 1-10) is a special presentation of some of the Gallery's finest works of European art from the early Renaissance through to the mid-twentieth century. Also included in the display is a selection of key Irish paintings which chart the development of Irish art from the eighteenth century onwards. Highlights of the Gallery's prints and drawings collection includes works by Frederic William Burton, Edgar Degas and Jean-Antoine Watteau. Paintings by Jack B. Yeats are on view in the Millenium Wing.
National Museums Northern Ireland
Phone: (0044) 289 044 0000
The Ulster Museum collection of 20th century British, European and American art is important, and, taken with the Irish collection of the same period, constitutes undoubtedly the major public collection of modern art in Ireland. The Times described it as "one of the most ambitious collections of modern art outside London" (19 November 1994).
The British collection is particularly representative of developments in British painting from 1900 until the 1980s. In the 1930s the Museum built up a distinguished collection of paintings by Sickert, Steer, Matthew Smith, Paul and John Nash, and major works by Stanley Spencer, who frequently paid visits to Belfast. In the 1960s a major collection of post war art was begun, including examples by William Scott, Francis Bacon, Alan Davie, Terry Frost, Ivon Hitchens, Roger Hilton and Victor Pasmore. This was followed by the work of artists of the op and pop generation, including Bridget Riley, Patrick Caulfield, Allen Jones, Bernard Cohen, John Hoyland and Kenneth Martin.
Post-Impressionists are represented by Roderic O'Conor and W. J. Leech. The 'modernists' include Mainie Jellett - the first artist to bring cubism to Ireland - Mary Swanzy and a host of others, not least Jack B Yeats, the single most important Irish painter of the first half of the 20th century. The strength of the Irish collections lies not just in their scope but their depth. Many artists such as Sir John Lavery, Roderic O'Conor, Paul Henry, William Scott, Colin Middleton, Basil Blackshaw, Louis le Brocquy, and Mainie Jellett, to give a few examples, are represented.