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Be our Guest for Bealtaine 2019

Come along to the National Museum of Ireland this May to celebrate the arts and creativity as we age


The museum is delighted to take part once again in Bealtaine - the annual celebration each May of the arts and creativity as we age. Here are six engaging events to explore your National Museum of Ireland this Bealtaine.

1. Off the Cuff? Clothing through the Ages

1 - 1.45pm, Tuesday, May 14

National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology, Kildare Street, Dublin 2

Take a special tour of the museum galleries to explore the archaeological evidence for clothing from Stone Age to medieval times. Learn about how clothes were created and cared for in the past, and discover how people used clothes and 'jewellery' to honour the gods, mark their social status, or just protect their ankles from the mud! Booking is required. Email educationarch@museum.ie or telephone (01) 6486334. This tour is partially wheelchair accessible.

2. Choral performance

2.30pm, Friday, May 24

National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo

Enjoy a choral performance at 2.30pm on Friday, May 24, in the Courtyard Gallery at the Museum (next to the café), as part of the Mayo International Choral Festival. From Indiana, USA, the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Madrigals are a women’s chamber choir and have toured throughout the US, Canada and Europe. This is a unique opportunity to hear them perform in a lovely setting. Admission is free. No booking required.

3. Tour of the Eileen Gray Exhibition

3 - 4pm, Sunday, May 26

National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, Dublin 7

Join a public tour of the Eileen Gray gallery, exploring one of the most influential designers and architects of the 20th century. No booking required. Places allocated on a first-come basis, 15 minutes before the tour starts.

4. The Stories Between Us

During museum opening hours, May - August 2019

National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, Dublin 7

Explore a memory box of objects on display alongside a display of personal objects loaned by the participants of an inter-generational public art and oral history project. The project is funded by Grangegorman Development Agency and NMI, with curator and artist Janine Davidson, local community arts groups from Henrietta Adult Community Education and Phibsboro Active Retirement Association and St Gabriel's National School.

5. Electric Irish Homes Open Day

2 - 4pm, Thursday, May 30

National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo

Come along to an open day showcasing an exciting textile project exploring the impact of rural electrification on Irish housewives in the 1950s and '60s.The project is called the ‘Electric Irish Homes Textile Project’ and is inspired by a major upcoming exhibition at the National Museum of Ireland, called Kitchen Power: Women's Experiences of Rural Electrification. Meet the project participants and see their work; enjoy a talk by Dr Sorcha O’Brien, Kingston University, on women's experiences of rural electrification; view a short documentary about the ‘Electric Irish Homes Textile Project’; and hear from Tara Byrne of Age and Opportunity about Creativity in Older Age. 

6. Ode to the Dead Zoo

10am - 1pm, Thursday, May 30

National Museum of Ireland - Natural History, Merrion Street, Dublin 2

Drop into a poetry morning upstairs in the Reading Area of the Dead Zoo and get inspiration from a Victorian collection of taxidermy, skeletons and fossils. Create a phrase and contribute to a group poem curated by poet Seán Hewitt. No booking required but there may be a short wait time. This event is not wheelchair accessible.

For more events taking place at the National Museum of Ireland this May, visit our What's On section.