Are you planning a trip to the Emerald Isle? Add some culture to your vacation and uncover Ireland’s vibrant art scene. With galleries in every corner of the country, we’ve put together a list to help you see some of the best art galleries in Ireland. Read on to find out…
Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, Skibbereen
Located in the heart of Skibbereen, Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre is a hub of creativity in Cork. Since opening in 1985, Uillinn continues to give opportunities for access to, and engagement with the arts for both locals and visitors alike. As well as hosting guided tours, the Centre boasts three artists’ studios, providing space for artists of all walks of life to work and meet the public. On top of this the Centre houses two main galleries which consistently offer unique and inspiring contemporary art exhibitions, with artwork by local, national and international artists
Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin
Since opening in 1991, Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) is consistently referred to as one of the best art galleries in Ireland, and there’s no surprise why. Located in Dublin City, IMMA is Ireland’s National Cultural Institution for Modern and Contemporary Art. The gallery boasts unique exhibitions, commissions and projects with over 3,500 artworks by Irish and international artists. IMMA offer guided tours so visitors can make the most of their visit as well as hosting a number of artistic events and workshops regularly.
Lismore Castle Arts, located in the once-derelict West Wing of Lismore Castle, is one of the top contemporary art galleries in Ireland. Here, visitors can view critically acclaimed exhibitions in an incredible environment. One major exhibition is held here annually, previous exhibitors include Kevin Atherton, Carol Anne Connolly and Niamh O’Malley. On top of this, there is an exciting programme of lectures and workshops as well as a permanent collection of contemporary sculpture on display in the beautiful Castle Gardens.
The Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin
Located in Dublin City, The Hugh Lane Gallery is one of most well-known and best art galleries in Ireland, centred around the ground-breaking vision of Sir Hugh Lane himself. The Gallery is home to a unique and exceptional collection of modern art, including the first impressionist paintings in any public collection across Britain and Ireland. On your visit to The Hugh Lane Gallery, be sure to check out Francis Bacon’s studio and archive which the gallery acquired in 2001.
Crawford Art Gallery, Cork
If you’re interested in some more historic pieces, be sure to visit Crawford Art Gallery in Cork. Built in 1724 as the Cork’s customs house, the gallery is a National Cultural Institution, dedicated to the visual arts, both historic and contemporary. As one of Ireland’s best art galleries, its collection comprises of close to 4,000 artworks, ranging from 18th century Irish and European painting and sculpture, right through to contemporary video installations. Some of the most prestigious and well-known works in the Crawford Art Gallery include a collection of Greek and Roman sculpture casts, brought to Cork in 1818 from the Vatican Museum in Rome and the famous Canova Casts, gifted to the city of Cork two centuries ago.
Visual is undoubtably one of the most impressive art galleries in Ireland and boasts the country’s largest gallery space. The gallery consistently exhibits beautiful pieces of artwork in a range of mediums as well as hosting various Artists in Residence including Sibyl Montague. In it’s location in Carlow town, the gallery also has a number of regular workshops, exciting classes and unique events.
Highlanes Municipal Art Gallery, Drogheda
Established in 2006, Highlanes Municipal Art Gallery is a dedicated visual art space for the Irish north east region. The gallery’s permanent collection features stunning works from artists such as Fernec Martyn, Nano Reid and Lady Beatrice Glenavy RHA to name but a few. The gallery is run at an extremely high standard and plays host to several exhibitions annually that are not to be missed.
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