For some, Ireland remains a mystical place steeped in history, legend, poetry and romance. All of this has inspired and produced lots of great art over the years and the tradition continues to this day. Ireland may be most famous for its pubs and the general “craic” that can be had for tourists but many are now visiting to experience the thriving contemporary and lasting traditional art scenes. So if you are thinking of visiting Ireland on an art tour here are some of the top spots you should definitely check out.
Our first stop is a very unusual gallery in that it was originally located in London and was then moved to Dublin. Not just the name of the gallery, the building itself was taken apart and rebuilt in the heart of Dublin. Now the permanent studio of Francis Bacon, the gallery is also hosts regular charitable events. If you are a fan of modern art from all around the world then you will enjoy the exhibits on show and of course there is lots of Irish art on display as well.
We travel now up to Northern Ireland where the art scene is thriving just as much as in the Republic of Ireland. Nowhere more so is this the case than the MAC in Belfast. Featuring works from successful local artists such as James McKendry and Maria McKinney the MAC boasts art from all over the world. The building itself is a dominate feature in the Belfast skyline with 6 stories including 3 separate art galleries so you’re sure to find exactly what you’re looking for on a visit to this impressive building.
It’s hard to miss the Museum of Modern Art in the heart of Dublin. It’s classical architecture could be considered art in itself. It was first established way back in 1684 and with constant revamps and restorations throughout the years it has been able to remain extremely relevant and a must-see for any visiting art lovers. The permanent collection includes artists like Chuck Close, Ed Ruscha, and Louise Bourgeois, to name a few and of course Irish Artists also feature prominently in their collections.
The Crawford is famed throughout Ireland as a must-see art gallery and museum showcasing both traditional and modern art styles. Like the Museum of Modern Art in Dublin the building is steeped in history, dating back to 1724. Originally an art school, it became known as the Crawford in the late 19th Century and it was only in the late 1970’s that it became the gallery and museum as it is known today. Over 200 thousand patrons visit it every year so you won’t be alone in wanting to explore this fantastic gallery.
This is a gallery that you may miss if you were only relying on sightseeing brochures as it’s a bit of a hidden gem. Based in the ever popular Lisburn Road area of Belfast, the Eakin Gallery is a small family run project that has been popular with art enthusiasts since the 1970’s. They showcase some of Northern Ireland’s leading artists such as Terry Bradley, William Conor and Frank McKelvey and if you are looking to take a painting home with you they do sell some of their collections as well.
As its name suggests this gallery is located in the lively Temple Bar area of Dublin which is ever popular with tourists and locals for its wide range of bars, restaurants, music venues and theatres. If you are in Temple Bar you shouldn’t overlook the gallery as it showcases some of the finest art Ireland has to offer. The Gallery & Studios is a charitable organisation that truly pushes the boundaries of modern art so if you are looking for thought provoking paintings, sculptures and architecture then you must stop by and check it out for yourself.
Author Bio: Neville is the owner of Irelandart.com an online gallery based in Ireland. Their mission is the promotion and celebration of Irish art and artists.
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