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Dublin Castle Exhibitions

Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger

8 March 2018 – 30 June 2018


Coach House Gallery, Dublin Castle Gardens

Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger – an exhibition of the world’s largest collection of Famine-related art– is shown for the first time in Ireland. The collection, from Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University, Connecticut, constitutes a direct link to the past of almost 6.5 million Irish, and 40 million Irish-American people. The death and dispersion of 2 million people, followed by a further 2 million emigrations to the end of the century, makes this an important gesture of cultural reconnection.

The impact of the Famine is still with us. The challenge in the 21st century is to find ways to remember a past that shaped the present. Through this exhibition, both the gaps and the connections in Irish and diasporic history and memory raise important historic and contemporary issues of poverty, displacement and violence, as well as of class, gender and identity, through the lens of art. From Romanticism to post-modernism, the exhibition spans 170 years, and features work by leading Irish and Irish-American artists. The unprecedented calamity paralleled a crisis in representation. Successive generations sought to register the enormity of what happened visually, while grappling with rapid stylistic change that resisted traditional representation.

Making Majesty: Building and Borrowing the Regal Image at Dublin Castle

25 September 2017 – 28 April 2018


State Apartments Galleries

This exhibition explores the shaping of the royal and viceregal image at Dublin Castle in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the later appropriation of that potent image in the formation of an independent Ireland. From the gilded magnificence of the Castle’s architectural surroundings and their intricately crafted furnishings, to the stately ceremonies that unfolded in and around them, the exhibition reveals the different ways in which ideas of majesty were constructed, consumed and reinvented.

Bringing together paintings, furniture, drawings and ceremonial regalia, it draws on the rich collections of institutions including the National Gallery of Ireland, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Office of Public Works and the Royal Collection Trust. The exhibition will be accompanied by a richly illustrated book of scholarly essays published by Irish Academic Press and a programme of educational events, all of which will seek to illustrate, for the first time, the Castle’s untold story of building, borrowing and making majesty.

Curated by Myles Campbell and William Derham, Collections and Research, Dublin Castle.

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