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Upcoming Friends' Events


How to book
Please note, the first time you use the new booking system you will need to set your password for your Friends' account. Click 'book now' on your selected event below, this will bring you to our events page. Click 'login' at the top right-hand corner and then click 'Forgot your password?', enter your email address and click 'send'. An email will be sent to your email address with instructions how to set your password. We also take bookings over the phone: (01) 4070 759 

 

March

Thursday 22nd March

Talk: The Painter’s Women: Goya in Light and Shade

Following on from our recent exhibition Francisco Goya: The Disasters of War, author Fionnuala Brennan’s talk for the Friends will focus on the women in Goya’s life. Drawing on themes from her novel The Painter's Women: Goya in Light and Shade, Fionnuala will discuss the women who knew the artist well and their relationship painter at different stages of his career. 

Tea & coffee will served after the lecture. 

Location: Lecture Theatre at the Chester Beatty

Time: 11:30am

Cost: €5
Book now

 

Tuesday 27th March

Film screening- The Seventh Seal (1957)

Ingmar Bergman’s allegory about a medieval knight (Max von Sydow) who plays chess with Death (a white-faced, shrouded figure played by Bengt Ekerot) was a landmark of arthouse cinema in the late 1950s. Taking its title from the Book of Revelation, the film examines the knight’s crisis of faith during a dark period of human history, tackling issues of existential doubt and despair that touched a nerve with audiences living in the aftermath of the horror of war. 

Language: Swedish and Latin with English subtitles

Running time: 96 minutes 

Location: Lecture Theatre at the Chester Beatty

Time: 2pm

Cost: €5

Book now

April

Tuesday 10th April

Talk: Digitising the Chester Beatty Collections 

The Chester Beatty has embarked on a major digital project which will open our remarkable collections to a global audience for the first time. Tim Keefe, Head of Digital at the Chester Beatty will share the museum’s digital vision, discuss how we are utilising new state-of-the-art equipment to create a resource which will shape the way in which the Chester Beatty reaches and engages its audiences, explores new methods of public engagement, and fosters interaction and participation. Tim will provide the Friends with an exclusive peek into this exciting new development which will be launched later in the year. 

Tea & coffee will be served after the lecture.

Location: Lecture Theatre at the Chester Beatty

Time: 11:30am

Cost: €5

Book now

 

Monday 16th April

Middle Eastern cookery class at the Silk Road Kitchen 

The Silk Road Kitchen opened its doors 3 years ago and is the first dedicated Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Cookery School in Ireland.  

The Friends are invited to join Managing Director, Abraham Phelan for a hands on cookery afternoon. Abraham, who has over 40 years experience cooking Middle Eastern food, will guide you through making an assortment of mezze including hummus, baba ghanoush, falafel and pomegranate salad, before teaching you how to cook a Palestinian main course. Following the class, we will sit down together and enjoy the meal, served with wine and mint tea.  

Duration: approximately 3.5 hours 

Location: Silk Road Kitchen, Unit 12, KCR Industrial Estate, Kimmage, Dublin 12

Time: 2pm

Cost: €65

Book now

 

Wednesday 25th April

Talk: What hope is there for the future of Syria?

Middle East cultural expert, Arabist, and BBC broadcaster, Diana Darke will give the Friends a very special illustrated talk exploring the traditions and survival methods that have evolved in Syrian society over the course of centuries of war and political turbulence. It is the subject of her new book The Merchant of Syria: A History of Survival, which traces the remarkable life a textile merchant from Homs. The book will be the subject of the Book Club meeting in August. 

A glass of wine will be served after the talk.

Location: Lecture Theatre at the Chester Beatty

Time: 6:30pm

Cost: €10

Book now 

May

Tuesday 8th May 

Film screening: The Tale of John and Marie (1980)

Legendary Czech animator Karel Zeman’s final feature is also one of his most visually ravishing— inspired by the design of medieval illuminated manuscripts, The Tale of John and Marie follows a young boy’s adventures with three gnomes (one good, one bad, and one mad). Young knight John travels the world in search of fame and fortune, but also to help others and prove himself. However, things go quickly wrong for the young knight and he becomes burdened with life's hardships. But then he meets a pretty water nymph, Mary. 

Running time: 65 minutes

Location: Lecture Theatre at the Chester Beatty

Time: 2pm

Cost: €5

Book now

 

Wednesday 16th May

Talk: Paintings and prayer: the intimate art of the Book of Hours

Books of Hours were produced in their thousands in the later middle ages, many of them exquisitely decorated by the great artists of the time. While most of the images relate to Christian history, there are plenty of surprises, with delightful depictions of daily labour and the natural world, as well as heart-rending depictions of death and dying.

Roger Stalley was formerly Professor of the History of Art at Trinity College where he specialized in the art and architecture of the middle ages. He is currently a Trustee of the Chester Beatty Library.

Tea & coffee will be served after the lecture

Location: Lecture Theatre at the Chester Beatty 

Time: 11:30am

Cost: €10

Book now

 

Saturday 19th May

Concert: Vivaldi’s World

Irish Baroque Orchestra

Directed by Monica Huggett 

(presented in partnership with Music for Monkstown)

Following a wonderful evening at the IBO’s performance of Handel’s Messiah in December, the Friends of the Chester Beatty have been invited to explore the sonic world of Vivaldi and his contemporaries with the IBO this spring. 

In addition to the concert, the Friends have been invited to a special post-concert reception with Director, Monica Huggett. Monica is one of the pioneers of the early music scene in Ireland and is largely responsible for its existence today. She has a wealth of stories and anecdotes to share, not least when she recorded with the Rolling Stones! 

Location: Monkstown Parish Church

Time: 5pm

Duration: approximately 2.5 hours

Cost: €25 (price includes ticket and post-concert reception) 

Book now

June

Thursday 7th June

Behind-the-scenes: Digitising the Chester Beatty Collections 

As the Chester Beatty embarks on one of its biggest and most ambitious projects to date, the Friends have the opportunity to come behind-the-scenes to see the processes involved in preparing and photographing the collection for digitisation. The visit will start in the Conservation Lab where you will be guided by our Conservators through the treatment processes of different types of manuscripts and books, before moving down to the Photography Studio with our Digital Team. 

Due to very limited space, we can only accommodate a small group of visitors at any one time. With this in mind we have programmed two separate visits, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Please book early to avoid disappointment. 

Time: Group 1: 11:30am

    Group 2: 2:30pm

Duration: 90 minutes 

Meeting point: The information desk at the Chester Beatty 

Cost: €35 (Your contribution will go directly to our Conservation Programme)

Book now

 

Tuesday 19th June

Talk: A 16th century Ottoman Treasure: Conserving Chester Beatty’s Zubdat al-Tawarikh

Julia Poirier, Book Conservator at the Chester Beatty Library will describe the conservation of The Cream of Histories (Zubdat al-Tawarikh), one of Library’s most interesting 16th century Turkish manuscripts (CBL T 414). It was written by Sayyid Luqman ‘Ashuri, an official court historian to the Ottoman Sultan, Murad III (1546-95) and is considered one of the most important surviving manuscripts of both Islamic and Ottoman history. The manuscript is beautifully illuminated and although the historic binding survives, it had been crudely repaired in the past resulting in the need for full conservation treatment. The conservation of this project was partially funded by the Friends. 

Tea & coffee will be served after the talk

Location: Lecture Theatre at the Chester Beatty 

Time: 2pm

Cost: €5

Book now

 

Thursday 28th June

An evening at the Chester Beatty: Conservation talk & Japanese themed dinner

The highly specialised conservation of The Tale of Tawara Toda - a set of three mid-seventeenth century hand-scrolls from the Chester Beatty’s famous Nara ehon Collection is now complete. The scrolls, which were conserved with the generous support of the Sumitomo Foundation, will be returning to the Chester Beatty in June. We are delighted to welcome Andrew Thompson and Sydney Thomson from the Restorient Conservation Studio in Leiden for an illustrated talk about the conservation process.

The Friends will enjoy a special private viewing of the Japanese scrolls from 5.30pm, followed by the talk at 6pm; and then a 3 course dinner with wine, tea and coffee in the Atrium. The menu will feature a selection of mouthwatering Japanese starters and desserts, and a delicious buffet of main courses and side dishes.

Location: Chester Beatty 

Time: 5:30pm-8:30pm

Cost: €55

Book now

July

Monday 9th July

Middle Eastern cookery class at the Silk Road Kitchen 

The Friends have a second opportunity to join Managing Director, Abraham Phelan for a hands on cookery afternoon this summer. Abraham, who has over 40 years experience cooking Middle Eastern food, will guide you through making an assortment of mezze, before teaching you how to cook a Palestinian main course. Following the class, we will sit down together and enjoy the meal, served with wine and mint tea.  

Duration: approximately 3.5 hours 

Location: Silk Road Kitchen, Unit 12, KCR Industrial Estate, Kimmage, Dublin 12

Time: 2pm

Cost: €65

Book now

 

Tuesday 24th July

Talk: Ethnic Jewellery of the Arabian Peninsula

Born in Kinsale, Brid Desmond Beeler has traveled extensively and has almost 30 years’ experience in the international tourism industry.  She has worked with such prestigious organisations as National Geographic, the History Channel, Stanford and the Smithsonian Institution.  

She went to live in Saudi Arabia in 1989 and became interested in the native Bedouin jewellery selling in the local suqs. Later, while living in Oman and Yemen, her interest in jewellery matured as she became involved with other serious collectors. As her knowledge of silverwork and design grew, so did her collection, which now comprises hundreds of pieces.

Tea & coffee will be served after the talk

Location: Chester Beatty Library 

Time: 2pm

Cost: €10

Book now


Thursday 26th July

Daytrip: Loughcrew Megalithic Centre & Newgrange

By request, we have arranged a daytrip to visit Meath’s passage tombs. First we will travel to the Loughcrew Megalithic Centre for a guided walking tour of the Cairns at Slieve na Calliagh. Over 5,000 years old, these passage tombs are older than Newgrange and extremely well preserved. After the tour, we will enjoy lunch in the café before departing for Newgrange. 

In the afternoon, you will have the opportunity to explore the exhibition at the Brú Na Bóinne Visitor Centre which interprets the Neolithic monuments of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth, before embarking on a tour of Newgrange. 

Please note that there is a 20 minute walk to reach the tombs at Slieve na Calliagh, so please wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather. 

Meeting point: Nassau Street, Dublin 2 (opposite The Kilkenny Shop) 

Time: Departing at 9:15am sharp with Enfield Coaches, return to Dublin city centre at approx. 5:15pm

Cost: €66 (price includes entrance tickets, tours, lunch and transport)

Book now 

August


Saturday 11th August
Book Club: The Merchant of Syria: A History of Survival 

by Diana Darke

Barely literate, and supporting his mother and sisters from the age of ten, Abu Chaker built up a business empire—despite twice losing everything he had. Diana Darke follows his tumultuous journey, from instability in Syria and civil war in Lebanon, to his arrival in England in the 1970s. The Merchant of Syria tells two parallel stories: the life of a cloth merchant and his resilience, and the rich history of a nation built on trade. 

The book will be released in April 2018 and will be on sale in the Chester Beatty shop. Please show your Friends card to receive a 10% discount. 

Tea & coffee will be served during the meeting.

Location: Lecture Theatre at the Chester Beatty

Time: 3pm

Cost: €5

Book now

 

Thursday 16th August

Film screening: The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) 

Spiritual rapture and institutional hypocrisy come to stark, vivid life in one of the most transcendent masterpieces of the silent era. Chronicling the trial of Joan of Arc in the hours leading up to her execution, Danish master Carl Theodor Dreyer depicts her torment with startling immediacy, employing an array of  techniques—expressionistic lighting, interconnected sets, painfully intimate close-ups—to immerse viewers in her subjective experience. Anchoring Dreyers audacious formal experimentation is a legendary performance by Renée Falconetti, whose haunted face channels both the agony and the ecstasy of martyrdom. 

Running time: 114 minutes

Location: Lecture Theatre at the Chester Beatty 

Time: 2pm

Cost: €5

Book now

  

Wednesday 29th August

Talk: The Portrayal of Death and Dying in Renaissance Art

Drawing on some of the themes from Miniature Masterpiece: The Coëtivy Hours, Dr Philip Cottrell will explore the portrayal of death in Renaissance art. 

Dr Philip Cottrell is a lecturer at the School of Art History & Cultural Policy, UCD. His primary research interest is Venetian renaissance painting, but has also published on a range of topics including the work of Caravaggio and his followers, the monument to John Donne in St Paul’s Cathedral, London, and the Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition of 1857. With Wolfgang Marx he has co-edited Death, Burial, and the Afterlife – a volume of essays devoted to the theme of death in the arts and humanities. 

A glass of wine will be served after the lecture.

Location: Lecture Theatre at the Chester Beatty

Time: 6:30pm

Cost: €10 

Book now

 

Friends' Holiday

Chester Beatty Library China Highlights, Shanghai, Xian & Beijing

This year’s 11 day tour is to China. The group will fly to Shanghai via Abu Dhabi and spend 2 nights in the city to visit the highlights including the Shanghai Museum which holds the finest porcelain collection in China. The group will then fly to Xian for 3 nights to explore the Grand Mosque, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the Banpo Museum, and visit the Terra-Cotta Warriors and Horses. 

The final 4 nights will be spent in Beijing visiting the Temple of Heaven, Tian An Men Square, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the Great Wall, and Ding Tombs amongst other sites before embarking on the overnight return journey. 

The trip will take place in mid-October and a full itinerary and dates will be available to those who are interested in travelling.

Guide price: Single room €2699

Twin rooms reduction €300 per person

Price includes all flights and transport, expert local guides and entrance fees, 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners and 9 nights hotel accommodation in 4 star hotels.

Please note that it is important both for you and for your fellow travellers that you are fit enough to be able to enjoy all the activities on this tour. There is a considerable amount of walking involved. If you

have restricted mobility, it is likely that you will find this itinerary challenging.

 

To register your interest, please email Sabhbh at: friends@cbl.ie or call (01) 4070759.

 

 
Refund Policy- Friends Events:
 
The Chester Beatty Library reserves the right to cancel any event which is under-subscribed or rendered impossible due to circumstances beyond our control, in which case ticket holders will receive a full refund. 
 
We regret that refunds cannot be issued for events where the ticket price is €15 or less. For events where the ticket price is over €15, refunds will be given less an administrative fee of 20% when the place is cancelled seven days before the event.