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1899-1914: The National Museum of Science and Art

Read about the objects collected and acquired during the early 20th century period, then see them at the Out of Storage exhibition.

Following the enactment of the Agriculture & Technical Instruction (Ireland) Act in 1899, responsibility for the Museum passed to the government department of the same name in Dublin.

Collection and commission

While curators continued to collect quality pieces of decorative art and those illustrative of industrial design, they also supported Department officials in acquiring pieces that would influence rural communities in the production of marketable products to high artistic standards. To that purpose the Museum also commissioned pieces. Both types of acquisition were displayed at venues throughout the country.

With the aim of encouraging industrial design, one gallery was dedicated to temporary exhibitions of works by ‘living artists (and) manufacturers, Irish, English, Continental and American’.

What artefacts you can see from this period at Out of Storage

On display are two pieces commissioned by the Museum at this time. One is an embroidered mitre that was designed and worked in the Poor Clare Convent in Kenmare in 1901.

The other is an enamelled triptych by Alexander Fisher, which represents St Patrick converting King Laoghaire’s two beautiful daughters while they were at the Palace of Cruachan under the tuition of the two Druids, Mal and Colpait.