Through a Swedish Lens

Images of early twentieth-century Irish Life

This temporary exhibition, on loan from the National Folklore Collection in University College Dublin, features photographs taken by a number of Swedes who visited Ireland in the early decades of the twentieth century.

Nilsson image

The Swedes were ethnologists, scholars who were interested in the lives and culture of ordinary people. From Dublin to Wexford, from Kerry to Donegal, they recorded life in both inland and coastal areas, preserving images of farming and fishing practices, as well as domestic life, both rural and urban. Their photographs are glimpses into a way of life that is now gone.

The drawings which the Swedes made are part of the Irish Folklife Collection and are stored in the Museum of Country Life. Some of these architectural plans are exhibited here, to complement their photographs.

These Swedish scholars greatly influenced the setting up of the Irish Folklore Commission, fore-runner of the Irish Folklore Collection in University College Dublin, and the National Folklife Collection of the National Museum of Ireland.

This Exhibition is now closed.

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