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Top Things to See

Top 10 Things to See at Decorative Arts & History

Free Admission

1. Military architecture

Collins Barracks, home of NMI - Decorative Arts & History, was an army base for some 200 years before being renovated for use as a museum. The network of tall, granite-faced buildings occupy an 18 acre site and retain an imposing, military air. The site is named after Michael Collins, the first Commander-in-Chief of the Irish Free State Army

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2. Eileen Gray

Meet Ireland's pioneer of 20th Century design and architecture in the Eileen Gray exhibition. Explore modernism through her interiors and furniture. Don't miss Chrome Table and Non-conformist Chair.

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3. Fonthill Vase

Made between 1300 and 1340AD, the Fonthill Vase is world-renowned as the earliest documented piece of porcelain to have left China for Europe. Of celadon porcelain, it was made about 1300AD during China’s Yuan Dynasty.

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4. Curator's Choice

Explore Decorative Arts & History through 25 special objects chosen by curators from the National Museum of Ireland. Curators were asked to select an object in which they were interested. While some objects document important milestones of political and military history, others are testimony to the way of life and beliefs of our ancestors.

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5. Soldiers & Chiefs

This exhibition traces Ireland's military history from 1550 into the 21st Century. Original artefacts, such as the impressive Stokes Tapestry, letters, replicas and interactives show how soldiering and war have affected the lives of Irish people over the centuries.

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6. Albert Bender Collection

The Museum is home to a hugely important Asian art collection gifted during the 1930s by the Irish-American businessman Albert Bender. The works are mostly of Chinese, Japanese and Tibetan Buddhist art.

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7. The Asgard

The Asgard yacht was built in 1905 by Colin Archer, the celebrated Norwegian naval architect. This beautifully crafted and conserved vessel played a pivotal role in the 1914 Howth gun-running. It has been on display at the Museum since 2012 and stands as a monument to the skill of both the original builders and the conservation team, as well as a reminder of the turbulent events of 1914.

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8. Irish Silver Gallery

One of the largest collections of Irish silver in the world, this exhibition traces the development of the silversmith’s craft from the early 17th Century to the present day. It addresses the evolution of design and examines the mining, assaying, and crafting of this precious metal.

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9. The Way We Wore

See clothing and jewellery worn in Ireland from the 1760s to the 1960s. Although many still think of ‘Irish Dress’ as woollens worn in the West of Ireland, this exhibition shows that the majority of Irish people, even those who wore locally woven fabrics, dressed in styles that competed with the fashion conscious of Europe.

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10. Shop and unwind

Take a break from touring the vast Collections of the Museum with a coffee and sweet treat or some lunch in the Café. Then check out the Museum Gift Shop to browse unique Irish books, crafts and gifts.

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Decorative Arts & History

Collins Barracks ,
Benburb St,
Dublin 7,
D07 XKV4

+353 1 677 7444