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Go on Safari in Silver! Explore Art, Design and History in the National Museum, Collins Barracks

A self-guided cross curricular activity exploring art, history and creative writing!

A Safari is a journey and an adventure to see strange, exotic and exciting animals.Come on a Safari in Silver in the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks! Discover the mythical animals hiding in our Silver galleries, become an artist AND an explorer!


This impressive Collection of Irish Silver dates from the early 17th century up until the present day. It addresses the evolution of design and examines the mining, assaying and crafting of this precious metal. The exhibition illustrates the various uses of silver: religious, domestic and ceremonial. When you look closely at the objects you see that the silver is decorated with lots of different animals such as lions, horses, monkeys, elephants, birds, fish, deer and all kinds of fantasy animals. There are also parts of animals, such as claws and wings.


To encourage the children to explore the Silver Collection in an atmosphere of personal discovery, generated through the linkage of observation with imagination.

Curriculum Links

  • Primary Visual Arts Curriculum: Links to the “Drawing” section of the curriculum.
  • Primary History Curriculum: Links to the “Story”, “Buildings/ Homes” and “Life in the 18th and 19th Centuries” sections of the curriculum.


Below you can find some resources to help you carry out a 'Safari in Silver' with your class...

1. A gallery of objects from the Irish Silver Galleries with questions for teachers to explore in class, to generate oral discussion, build vocabulary and prepare for a visit to the museum

2. A downloadable, easy to use workshop plan that teachers can use with their class in the museum

3. A texture worksheet

4. A teachers information sheet with facts and stories behind objects

5. A full glossary


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