The National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History Celebrates its 20th Birthday

On 18 September 1997, the National Museum of Ireland opened a new Dublin site at Collins Barracks. The vast majority of the collections on display at this new museum came from the Art & Industrial Division of the National Museum of Ireland, whose role since its foundation in 1877, is to safeguard Ireland’s heritage in the decorative arts as well as its political, military and social history. The Museum became known as the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary this month with a very special trail through history.

The trail will showcase items acquired by the museum over the past 20 years. These objects include; “The Non-conformist Chair” by Eileen Gray, “The Unhappy Judas” by Harry Clarke, a “Gold Brooch” by Joseph Johnson and many others pieces that reveal the variety of material and underline the museum’s mission to acquire treasures for the nation.

Collins Barracks is named after Michael Collins, who was the first Commander-in-Chief of the Irish Free State Army. He had previously displayed heroic leadership during the War of Independence (1920-1921) but unfortunately, he was assassinated in 1922 during the Irish Civil War, aged just 31.

To celebrate their special anniversary, a webpage will be launched, with the content referring to Collins Barracks, the National Museum of Ireland, and to five iconic objects that the Museum is proud to have in its collection since its doors opened in 1997, such as the Fonthill Vase, The Mosque Lamp and many other treasures.

There will be a Social Media competition in which visitors are asked to take a selfie with their favourite object from the collection. Share your selfie using the hashtag #NMICB20TH and be in with a chance to win an exclusive prize which includes lunch, a private tour and a museum shop voucher. The most creative selfie will be picked so get your camera or phone ready.

The trail will be available to all, free of charge until the end of the year, so come along and explore at your own leisure.  It is the perfect time to discover the wide range of artefacts available at the museum. Families can also stop at the Activity Area and draw a birthday card for the NMI.


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