Clients booking an academic group program to Ireland should include a tour of one of Ireland’s leading galleries located throughout the island. These tours give students an opportunity to create and learn from an environment that brings culture and learning to life. It is important to do this in a space where creativity is valued, without the outside distractions of the real world. Art provides inspiration for student groups and Ireland has some of the best art galleries in Europe for them to learn from.
National Gallery of Ireland
If the walls of this gallery could speak, they would have amazing stories to tell. Established by an Act of Parliament in 1854, this gallery opened its doors to the public in 1864 and today it houses over 10,000 pieces of art of which approximately 2,500 are paintings with the remainder being water-colours, drawings, prints and sculpture from every major European school of painting and a renowned collection of Irish paintings which are on permanent display here. In 2011 this gallery underwent one of the largest refurbishment projects in the history of Ireland. In 2017 it re-opened its doors to the public, creating one of the most impressive modern gallery spaces in Europe that must be witnessed first-hand by all academic groups visiting Ireland.
Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)
Housed in the beautiful grounds of the 17th century Royal Hospital building on Dublin’s southside, is Ireland’s leading national institution for the collection and presentation of modern and contemporary art and is the home of its National Collection since 1991. In addition to the collection, IMMA delivers a changing program of dynamic exhibits from Irish and International artists throughout the year. Its award-winning education and community program ensures that a visit here is an enjoyable and engaging experience.
Crawford Art Gallery
Inside a beautiful building in the centre of Cork beside the Cork Opera House, one will discover this public art gallery, known informally as ‘the Crawford’. In 2006 this gallery was designated a ‘National Cultural Institution’ for Ireland’s visual arts, both historical and contemporary. Among the earliest acquisitions in the gallery’s collection are casts of classical Greek and Roman statues by Antonio Canova that were brought to Cork from the Vatican in 1818. As well as education and outreach programs, this art gallery presents fascinating exhibitions throughout. A wonderful gallery with something for every academic mind.
Founded in 2005 by a group of Derry artists called Derry Artists for Derry’s Art (DADA), this contemporary visual arts gallery presents innovative and challenging exhibitions by Irish and International artists with the goal of making contemporary visual art accessible to visitors of all ages. This gallery has established an international reputation for its wide-ranging and challenging exhibitions and their Engage program places participation, engagement and learning at its heart. Participative learning programs are created for every exhibition and give student groups the opportunity to participate in workshops, talks, film screenings, and other exhibition led events with the aim of making contemporary art accessible.
Galway Arts Centre
Since 1988, this 3,000 square foot building was transformed into two galleries that house exhibitions of local, national and international acclaim. It is a community-orientated space that promotes cultural activities through a wide range of events such as writing and photography giving academic visitors to Ireland access to both local culture and creative experiences. It offers exciting visual art programs, and partners with several Galway Festivals ensuring that each exhibition is educational, timely and relevant.
Galleries in Ireland have carved a significant and dynamic presence in Irish culture and each promises an educational and inspiring experience. These practical tours fill in missing gaps in book learning and provide a shared journey of discovery among academic groups. The hands-on nature of gallery visits encourages and supports interaction and delivers educational experiences where student groups can play, create, and learn together. A private tour guide will help students get the most out of their gallery visit while providing a quality, fun time together.