Audrey Whitty

Read the staff profile for Audrey Whitty, Keeper of the Art and Industrial Division


Dr. Audrey Whitty, Ph.D. has been Keeper of the Art and Industrial Division (Decorative Arts and History), National Museum of Ireland since January 2015. During 2013 and 2014 she was Curator of European and Asian Glass at The Corning Museum of Glass, New York where she was responsible for an extensive collection in what is widely regarded as the greatest glass museum in the world. From 2001 to 2013 Whitty was Curator of Ceramics, Glass and Asian collections, Art and Industrial Division, National Museum of Ireland. She has curated several exhibitions, most notably A Dubliner’s Collection of Asian Art: The Albert Bender Exhibition and the National Museum’s visible storage facility What’s In Store? (approx. 16,500 objects), which showcases some of the museum’s most important collections of applied arts. A graduate (B.A.: History and Archaeology) and postgraduate (M.A.: Archaeology) of University College Dublin, she also has a doctorate from Trinity College Dublin in History of Art as a result of her thesis, ‘The Albert Bender (1866-1941) Donations of Far Eastern Art to the National Museum of Ireland in the context of his Cultural Interests in Ireland and California’. 

In addition to her role at the National Museum she has been appointed Irish Commissioner to both European Ceramic Context and European Glass Context (European Union-wide biennales of contemporary glass and ceramics) since 2006, which take place on the Danish island of Bornholm. In 2009 she became the first Irish woman to be elected to the International Academy of Ceramics based in Geneva. She has authored over fifty publications (on both historical and contemporary topics of material culture/decorative arts) and lectured to such institutions as the Sorbonne, Paris; Trinity College Dublin; Art Institute of Chicago; National Maritime Museum, Greenwich; SOFA (Sculptural Objects and Functional Art), Chicago; National University of Ireland, Galway; the American Irish Historical Society, New York City; the Irish-Chinese Cultural Society; New York Metropolitan Glass Club; University College Dublin; Museum of Glass, Tacoma, Washington; National University of Ireland, Maynooth; and the National College of Art & Design, Dublin. She is author of the major publication, The Albert Bender Collection of Asian Art in the National Museum of Ireland, which was published by the National Museum and Wordwell Books in 2011.