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National Museum of Ireland reveals 2019 programme highlights

The National Museum of Ireland today revealed highlights of its programme of activities for 2019.


Left to Right: Lynn Scarff, Dr. Sorcha O'Brien, Nigel Monaghan & Dr. Audrey Whitty

In addition to its vast long-term collection spanning archaeology, decorative arts, history, ethnography, folklife and natural history the Museum will stage 5 exciting temporary exhibitions this year, and a wide ranging educational and outreach programme.

In keeping with the commitment set out in its Master Vision Statement 2018 – 2032, the Museum’s programme of activity for the year has been developed with a view to engaging diverse and new audiences.  The theme running through the 2019 programme of events is ‘Community’.

In 2018, the Museum had over 1.2 million visitors and it hopes to increase that number in 2019.  As well as engaging with new communities, groups, researchers, and artists in its activities, the Museum is also hosting a number of notable events on its four sites this year in association with other organisations, such as Culture Night, the Dublin Pride Block Party, the Stoneybatter Festival, Cruinnu na nÓg, and Dublin Festival of History.

Lynn Scarff took up the position of Director with the National Museum of Ireland in May 2018. Commenting on the programme of activity for 2019, she said; “At the National Museum of Ireland, our role is to preserve and present the stories of Ireland and its place in the world and it is with that in mind that we have designed our programme of activities for 2019. We have a rich and varied programme of events planned for the year, with a view to engaging, entertaining and educating as many audiences and communities as possible, old and new.

“It’s a particular honour for the National Museum of Ireland to be working with the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson and to be revealing images that he took in Ireland to the public for the first time,” she said.

More than 160,000 people engaged with the Museum’s Education and Outreach Programme in 2018, from school children, to families, to community groups. This year it is expected that figure will raise to 170,000 through some 500 events and workshops, 400 school visits, 2,200 self-directed group initiatives, and 1,100 facilitated group initiatives.

Nigel Monaghan, Acting Head of Collections and Learning said; “We are constantly developing new ways to engage people through our education programme and few initiatives are more satisfying than those that empower people and communities to document their own history.  Through our unique iCAN (Irish Community Archive Network) project we have already facilitated 17 community driven archival projects in collaboration with Galway County Council, and with the support of additional funding from Creative Ireland this year we hope to increase the number to 70 over the next three years.” 

Dr Audrey Whitty, Keeper, Art and Industry said the ‘Women in Design’ conference in May will draw much deserved attention to the array of pioneering female designers who are represented in the Museum’s permanent collection. “From furniture designer Eileen Gray and contemporary lighting artist Niamh Barry, to contemporary artist in glass Alison Lowry – many female Irish designers have achieved acclaim worldwide yet are not known to the degree that you might expect in their own country. In this upcoming conference we will look at how gender influences design and ask whether it is important that designers are remembered as women.”