Exploring 1916: at the Museum

Information on galleries relating to the 1916 Easter Rising

The ‘Understanding 1916’ exhibition closed in October 2015 in order that objects which were on display in that exhibition can be made ready for the new and much-expanded 1916 exhibition, ‘Proclaiming a Republic: The 1916 Rising’. The new exhibiton, which opens to the public on 3rd March 2016. is booked up for schools visits until June 2016.

However, there are many important objects still on exhibition which relate to this period in history. These objects are on display as part of the Soldiers & Chiefs, Asgard and Recovered Voices: The stories of the Irish at War 1914-1915  exhibitions. There is also a selection of objects relating to this period throughout the Decorative Arts and History exhibition galleries:

 Soldiers and Chiefs exhibition

  • One of the original copies of the Proclamation in the Museum’s collection
  • The message that mobilised the Dublin Irish Volunteers on Easter Monday, 1916, and the note from Eamonn Ceannt to mobilize Cumann na mBan
  • A Red Cross Armlet & Apron worn in the GPO by Eva Burke, a member of Cumann na mBan
  • The blood-stained undershirt worn by James Connolly when in the GPO.


Asgard Exhibition

  • The yacht Asgard played a pivotal role in the 1914 Howth gun-running, which brought about 900 guns to Ireland from Germany, to arm the Irish Volunteers.
  • This exhibition tells the story of the iconic yacht and the role it played in this turbulent period of Irish history.
  • The yacht was given as a wedding present to Erskine and Molly Childers from Molly’s parents in 1904.
  • First-hand accounts through the diary of Mary Spring Rice, a friend of the Childers and a member of the crew, provide students with a valuable primary source.
  • The yacht itself, now fully restored is on display alongside artefacts such as examples of the Mauser rifles and Volunteer uniforms. Historical context is provided by original film footage, photographs and text panels, provide interpretation and narrative for the objects.  The exhibition provides the context for the rise of nationalism in Ireland, the gun-running and subsequent Rising in Easter 1916.
  • From 2007 to 2012, a major conservation programme of Asgard was undertaken at Collins Barracks, and this aspect of Asgard’s history is also fully explored.


Recovered Voices: The Stories of the Irish at War, 1914 – 1915

  • This exhibition explores what happened to the almost 70,000 Irishmen in the British Army during the first years of World War One, by focusing on the stories of 21 Irishmen and women. The exhibition illustrates the human impact of the war on their lives, through original objects and interactive material.


Decorative Arts and History Galleries

  • There are a number of objects in the Decorative Arts & History Galleries that provide insight as to some of the politically motivated applied art objects that were being produced in Dublin at that time:




 Key Object

Curator’s Choice

William O’Brien Cup


Out of Storage


Presentation Box – given to Charles Stewart Parnell by the Nationalists of Drogheda

Chamber pot with head of Gladstone printed inside

Daniel O’Connell Cordial Bottle

The Way We Wore: 250 Years of Irish Clothing and Jewellery

1782 Club Uniform, Daniel O’Connell

Neo-Celtic costume

New Furniture Galleries


Box, Irish, mid 19 Century. This is a provincial smoking box which holds pipes and tobacco. It has been decorated with painted neo-Celtic motifs

Irish Silver

Book Cover, silver, Neo-Celtic style. Mark of Thomas Weir. Dates to the period 1912-13.


Self-guided group visits can be booked by using our online form.