Current and Past Exhibitions at the Castle are Listed Below


For the Love of the Master, 25 artists fascinated by Piranesi’ 

Conceived to commemorate the tercentenary of the birth of Piranesi in 2020 but delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the OPW presents the international exhibition For the Love of the Master, 25 artists fascinated by Piranesi to celebrate the legacy of this versatile Roman artist in the 21st century.

Between his birth near Venice in 1720 and his death in Rome in 1778, Giovanni Battista Piranesi became renowned as an etcher, engraver, designer, architect, archaeologist and theorist. A fascination with Piranesi continues to influence architects, artists and designers long after his death. Twenty-five artists from eleven countries were selected to pay homage to Piranesi’s drawings, engravings and reassembled antiquities in a variety of media.

James Caulfield, 1st Earl of Charlemont (1728–1799), met Piranesi during his Grand Tour travels in Italy. The friendly relationship between patron and artist was short-lived; their falling-out over the earl’s withdrawn patronage became a public scandal. Nonetheless, Charlemont’s fascination with Piranesi and the artist’s influence on the rise of Neoclassicism remained and eventually led to the building of the Casino at Marino, which today ranks as one of most beautiful neoclassical architectural gems of Europe.

At the Coach House Galleries in Dublin Castle, a copy of the original four-volume folio Antichità Romane, the commission that caused the public quarrel and rejection by the Earl of Charlemont, is on public display for the first time in Ireland’s capital city thanks to a generous loan from the Armagh Robinson Library. These volumes are juxtaposed with contemporary ceramics, glass, prints, drawings, and photographs. At the Casino at Marino, the neoclassical architecture provides the style and atmosphere of the 18th century as a backdrop for the contemporary artworks.


18th June – 18th September 2022

The Coach House 

10am–5pm, Monday–Sunday

Admission Free

‘A Life in Paint’: Patrick Reel Retrospective Exhibition

‘A Life in Paint’ encompasses the creative journey of Patrick Reel (b.1935). While covering all of this journey, many of the paintings included in this exhibition are very recent works, reflecting Reel’s ongoing energy and enthusiasm for a painting practice which spans over sixty years. Several of these paintings are arguably some of the finest he has ever produced.

The subject matter of his works ranges from portraits to landscape studies, semi-abstract/abstract compositions, and black and white sketches, all in evidence in this exhibition. As long ago as 1968, Reel exhibited as part of the Irish Exhibition of Living Art, alongside Louis le Brocquy, Mainie Jellett and others. A solo exhibition of his abstract work followed in 1973 in the prestigious Project Arts Centre.


11th March – 1st August 2022

The State Apartments Galleries

9.45am–5.15pm, Monday–Sunday

Admission €3

Please note this exhibition will be closed to visitors on Monday June 27th

The Treaty, 1921: Records from the Archives

Exhibition dates: 7 December – 27 March 2022

Coach House Gallery, Dublin Castle, Dubh Linn Gardens

Opening hours: 10am – 5pm (closed from 12.30 – 1.30pm) daily. Admission free.

The National Archives preserves the memory of the state in the form of its records. It acquires and protects Ireland’s public records, thereby ensuring their availability as a resource for all. These records relate to the social, cultural, economic and political history of the island of Ireland from the middle ages through to the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922 and into the modern era. Amongst its collections is perhaps the most famous document in Irish history: the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. It is appropriate that the National Archives should mark the centenary of the signing of the Treaty by presenting a major exhibition of records in its possession relating to the negotiation and signing of the Treaty. Using the Treaty itself as the centrepiece, this exhibition places significant documents from the collections of the National Archives on public display for the first time. This exhibition forms part of the National Archives Commemorations Programme 2021–2, marking the National Archives’ role as the official repository of the records of the state. It is presented in partnership with the Royal Irish Academy, the National Library of Ireland and the Office of Public Works, with records on display from the collections of the Military Archives, Dublin, and University College Dublin Archives.

Read more here

In Our Own Image: Photography in Ireland, 1839 to the Present


Curated by Gallery of Photography Ireland and the Office of Public Works, Dublin Castle, In Our Own Image presents the first comprehensive historical and critical survey of photography from across the island of Ireland. This landmark centenary exhibition charts how the medium has both reflected and shaped Irish cultural identity, from the work of the earliest photographic pioneers up to the emergence of a recognisably modern state. 

Throughout the period of intense change that characterised Ireland in the late 19th and into the mid-20th century, we see how photography served as a mirror for shifting experiences of what it meant to be Irish. More than that, it also defined the way we saw ourselves, creating an image of life on the island of Ireland that still forms part of our identity today. In Our Own Image reveals the depth of our shared photographic heritage, viewed through important works by key photographers held in leading archives, cultural institutions, museums, and private collections.




The Printworks, Dublin Castle

11am–5.45pm, Monday–Sunday, admission is free.


What Colour Is Metal?

13 October 2021 – 6 February 2022

State Apartments Galleries

9.45am–5.15pm, Monday–Sunday


Makers: Jane Adam | Peter Bauhuis | Edmond Byrne | Stuart Cairns | Alison Counsell | Rebecca  de Quin | Christine Graf | Koji Hatakeyama | Nicola Heidemann | Kaori Juzu | Toru Kaneko | Ruth Laird | Jose Marin | Cecilia Moore | John Moore | Cara  Murphy | Thanh-Truc  Nguyen | Cóilín Ó Dubhghaill | Michael Rowe | Ryuhei Sako | Simone  ten Hompel | Adi Toch | Jessica  Turrell | Roxanne Simone | Max Warren

Curated by Sara Roberts and Coilin O’Dubhghaill.

This major international exhibition is a consideration of the relationship between metal and colour in contemporary silversmithing and jewellery. Through seminal works by key international practitioners, it places artist practice in a broader context and maps practices of metal patination in key centres internationally. Tracing international information exchanges, it highlights relationships between master artisans, as well the transfer of skills to newer generations of makers. What colour is metal? makes vivid the connections between innovative studio practice and historic techniques, and furthermore looks to the future and profiles potential adaptations for industry. 

Produced by Design & Crafts Council of Ireland with support from the Office of Public Works.





Famous Faces at Dublin Castle

Curated by Bronagh Dempsey, “Famous Faces at Dublin Castle”, offers visitors a glimpse of the famous figures who have graced the halls of Dublin Castle since the 1960’s. The exhibition features the visits of Princess Grace 1961, US President John. F Kennedy 1963, US President Richard Nixon 1970, US President Ronald Reagan 1984, the New Ireland Forum 1983-84,  Nelson Mandela 1990, EEC Summit 1990, US President Bill Clinton 1995, Queen Elizabeth II 2011, Vice President Biden 2016, Pope Francis 2018 and Nancy Pelosi 2019.The exhibition will focus on the impact their visits had for Ireland, their time spent at Dublin Castle and it will also bring to life a few of their visits on screen through a series of archival footage.

Click here to read the curator’s blog post about Nixon’s forgotten visit.

06 January – 22 February 2022

St. Patrick’s Hall, State Apartments

9.45am–5.15pm, Monday–Sunday


The Objects of Love

The Office of Public Works in association with Holocaust Awareness Ireland present The Objects of Love, an exhibition of powerful mementoes that tell the story of one Jewish family before, during and after the Second World War. Opening in Dublin Castle’s Bedford Hall on 12 January, a fortnight before Holocaust Memorial Day, this poignant exhibition tells the fate of individual lives torn asunder in Nazi-occupied Poland and beyond. Told through a curated collection of precious family objects, photographs and documents, Dublin based art dealer, Oliver Sears vividly brings to life this extreme edge of European history where his mother Monika and grandmother Kryszia are the beating hearts of an epic and intimate story of love, loss, and survival.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an audio narration and an illustrated booklet.

Location: Bedford Hall Gallery, Dublin Castle.

Exhibition dates: 13th January to 13th February 2022.

Opening times: Daily 10.00am – 5.00pm (closed 1 – 2)

Admission Free.

Due to the formation of the building, the exhibition area is not universally accessible.



Irish Craft Heroes: 50 Makers x 50 Years 

Dubh Linn Gardens:  14 October – 30 November 2021

Irish Craft Heroes, a major exhibition celebrating 50 years of Irish craft, coincides with Design & Crafts Council Ireland’s (DCCI) 50th Anniversary since its establishment in 1971. To mark this landmark occasion, DCCI National Design & Craft Gallery has produced an outdoor, touring exhibition charting the evolution of the craft and design sector in Ireland over the last 50 years. It pays homage and tells the stories of 50 Craft Heroes – each iconic makers whose work has contributed to the rich tapestry of craft and design practice in Ireland. In response to current climate, DCCI National Design & Craft Gallery have developed this exhibition as an highly-visual, outdoor panel trail. In the absence of the objects, the focus is on strong images of iconic pieces and sharing makers stories through designed panels. This innovative outdoor presentation will ensure the project can take place no matter restrictions, allowing us to present the exhibition in key locations throughout the country, and ensuring the widest possible audience have an opportunity to engage with the project.

Through a public open call, Design & Crafts Council Ireland invited its members, GANS, partners, and the wider craft and design sector to nominate their #IrishCraftHero: ‘to celebrate makers whose work has significant legacy, has heralded new approaches or changed the way we look at the world




10 May – 10 October 2021

Coach House Gallery, Dublin Castle Gardens

The Office of Public Works, Dublin Castle, in collaboration with the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Dublino, are celebrating the seven hundredth anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri 1265-1321.

The Italian poet Dante, born in Florence in the 13th century, was the poet and historian of that city. Passionate, bitter, and exiled from the city he loved, he wrote the three volumes of The Divine Comedy: Inferno; Purgatory; Paradise, at the beginning of the fourteenth century.

La Divina Commedia, more widely known as The Divine Comedy was written over seven hundred years ago by the Italian medieval poet Dante Alighieri. This exhibition in Dublin Castle’s Coach House Gallery celebrates the poet’s life and his death in 1321, with 100 lithographs.  A lithograph is essentially a print where the artist can draw directly onto a limestone slap or plate – separate drawings representing each colour are made and then the completed image is editioned by hand by the artist.

The poem of 100 verses or cantos, is an epic poetic journey encapsulated into a few days, over an Easter weekend: which takes the reader deep through four worlds. The worlds of the imaginary – Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso and the reality of this world – Earth.  It is also, amongst many other aspects, the personal odyssey of a troubled human being coming to terms with his weaknesses and searching out a measure of atonement – a salvation in the context of his world, as he then knew it – the Hell on earth created by ourselves and for others in a world which in terms of the human condition has in reality, changed very little since Dante’s time.

Rapidly recognised as a masterpiece, this work has always fascinated artists. Over the centuries, from Giovanni de Paolo and Botticelli onwards artists and interpreters have squared up to the task, not just of illustrating Dante, but of responding to him. In the 21st century, the Irish artist Liam O’Broin, who lives close to the river Boyne in the neighbourhood of Slane, is the latest to respond to the Italian poet, producing over the course of ten years, 100 large-scale, vibrant lithographs, predominantly in colour; the largest printmaking project of its kind ever undertaken in Ireland. The exhibition, curated by Brian McAvera, not only showcases the remarkable series of prints but also provides contextual background – artist’s notes, drawings and sources – in a series of display cases, and is also accompanied by a ten-minute explanatory film which explains and illuminates the process of lithography and provides, in simple language, a number of ways for the viewer to look at and understand the lithographs.

There are explanatory captions under each lithograph and a detailed catalogue which reproduces all one hundred lithographs.



31 May – 5 September 2021

State Apartment Galleries

Fabrics shimmer, flowers blossom and pearls glint in the painted world of the vicereines of Ireland. But who were the women behind these genteel portraits? Discover their untold story in this landmark exhibition.

As the wives of Ireland’s viceroys, the vicereines were once the fashionable figureheads of social and cultural life at Dublin Castle. Often sympathetic but sometimes apathetic, their attitudes and activities offer fresh insights into the workings of the British administration in Ireland. Campaigns to develop hospitals, relieve poverty, promote Irish fashions, and, in some cases, mitigate what they described as the injustices of British rule in Ireland, are just some of their overlooked initiatives. Featuring works by masters such as Sir Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough, John Singer Sargent and Sir John Lavery, together with intimate personal objects, this exhibition shines a light on these activities to create new and illuminating portraits of forgotten women.

Curated by Dr Myles Campbell, Research and Interpretation Officer, Dublin Castle. Lending institutions include the National Gallery of Ireland, National Trust, Royal Collection Trust, Trinity College Dublin and Chatsworth House. A beautifully illustrated catalogue and volume of scholarly essays is available to purchase here.

Click here to hear curator, Dr Myles Campbell speak about the exhibition.


12 October 2020 – 31 May 2021

This Pop-Up Museum now continues on line and keeps exploring 100 + years of women’s participation in politics and public life in Ireland, as well as their international influence. The exhibition and its associated activities shine a spotlight on the stories of very familiar and less well known women, who have contributed significantly to Irish political and public life over the past century – on the challenges they faced and the obstacles they overcame. It is told with films, interviews, interactives, objects and information panels. It starts with a look at the individual lives of women elected to the Oireachtas over the period 1918 to 2018, as covered on this virtual tour with curator Sinead McCoole and is enriched with a series of resources, writings, interviews, seminars and workshops, that will keep the discussion live throughout the ‘school year’ and beyond.

Objects in focus in virtual space – Coming up…

Citizens curate

Selected objects with audio-description, audio-resources and commentary in Irish Sign Language.

100 Years of Women in Politics and Public Life: Objects in Focus

100 Years of Women in Politics and Public Life and Women of the Rising: Activists, fighters & widows by Dr Sinéad McCoole

Ship’s Biscuits in Ship Street Barracks by Anna Caffrey

Suffragettes and Dublin Castle: a tour with Evelyn Suttle

Evelyn Suttle ‘interviews’ Margaret Cousins

Courageous Women Castle to Castle – A Smashing Times Collection of Women’s Stories 1916-1923

Splendour & Scandal: The Office of Arms at Dublin Castle

29 June 2020 – 24 January 2021

State Apartment Galleries

The Office of Arms was, and in some senses still is, the oldest office of state in Ireland. It was established in 1552 as the Office of Ulster King of Arms, the heraldic authority for the island of Ireland and for almost 400 years it granted coats of arms to individuals, places and organisations; it maintained family trees and arbitrated on the rights of inheritance; and it stage-managed the pomp and ceremony of the State. In 1943, it became the last office to be handed over by the British Government to the Irish State, which had gained its independence in 1922. Reconstituted as the Genealogical Office, and later as the Office of the Chief Herald of Ireland, it continues its centuries-old heraldic work to this day, as part of the National Library of Ireland.

For some time before and after its reconstitution, the Office was known colloquially and simply as ‘the Office of Arms’ and the majority of its work remained the same either side of the 1943 demarcation. This exhibition explores its story as a single entity, looking at aspects of its history during the 150 years in which it was physically located within the walls of Dublin Castle, from 1831 to 1981. These range from the role of the Office in the organisation of state ceremonial and pageantry to its links with the disappearance of the Irish Crown Jewels; from its involvement in crafting the identities of the two states that emerged on the island of Ireland in the 1920s, to its larger role in Irish genealogy and diplomacy in the mid-twentieth century.

The exhibition is included in your entry ticket to the State Apartments.

A version of the exhibition is available online for those unable to visit in person at the current time.

Click on the links below to view the exhibition items in each of the four rooms.

Room 1: The Minerva Room

Room 2: The King’s Room

Room 3: The Arts & Sciences Room

Room 4: The Queen’s Room


8 July 2020 – 11 October 2020

Coach House Gallery, Dublin Castle Gardens

This Pop-Up Museum explores 100 years of women’s participation in politics and public life in Ireland. The exhibition shines a spotlight on the stories of very familiar and less well known women, who have contributed significantly to Irish political and public life over the past century – on the challenges they faced and the obstacles they overcame. It is told with films, interviews, interactives, objects and information panels, and looks at the individual lives of women elected to the Oireachtas over the period 1918 to 2016.

The exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to encourage people of all ages to reflect upon the journey that this country has taken, particularly over the past century. Highlighting all that has been achieved in the area of women’s participation in political life over the period, the exhibition also aims to raise awareness of the considerable work remaining to be done, and will encourage discussion, debate and analysis as part of the ongoing exploration of our more recent history. The exhibition is an initiative of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as part of the Decade of Centenaries Programme. It is hosted by the Office of Public Works at Dublin Castle and is curated by Dr Sinéad McCoole.

Please click the link below for information on events associated with the exhibition:
Women in Politics Events Programme

100 Years of Women in Politics and Public Life | Objects in Focus


25 October 2019 – 16 February 2020

State Apartment Galleries

In 1763 Lady Betty Cobbe and her husband began a purchasing a splendid dessert and dinner service of Worcester porcelain for Newbridge House. At around 400 pieces, it would be one of the largest on record from an 18th-century British porcelain factory. Most unusually, it possessed sets of matching Worcester porcelain handles fitted with Dublin cutlery.

Throughout the following century the numbers in the service dwindled, and only 145 pieces remained in 1914. In a house valuation of that year, these were among the most valuable of the Cobbe family heirlooms and a little later, during the Irish War of Independence, they were dispatched to London and sold in 41 lots. The service was thus lost to the house and to the minds of the continuing family. A chance happening upon a London sale in 1986, offering one knife and fork ‘from the Cobbe service’, initiated the research that both uncovered the former existence of the service and inspired a thirty-year process of reassembling it.

This exhibition will showcase some of the most beautiful pieces of the Cobbe service at Dublin Castle for the first time.


24 October 2019 – 7 January 2020

Coach House Gallery, Dublin Castle Gardens

The National College of Art and Design (NCAD) announces the Ireland Glass Biennale 2019; a juried exhibition of work from some of the world’s most innovative glass artists, designers and craft practitioners. Through showcasing the excellence of contemporary glass practice, the Irish Glass Biennale(IGB) aspires to further the public’s understanding of the creative potential of glass and to act as a catalyst for cultural activities which centre around glass.

The IGB was curated through an open-call process and direct invitation. The final selection was made by a panel of three expert jurors:

  • Reino Liefkes, Senior Curator and Head of Ceramics and Glass, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England
  • Diane C. Wright, Curator of Glass and Decorative Arts at the Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio, United States
  • Paula Stokes, Artist and Co-Founder of the METHOD gallery, Seattle, United States

IGB is co-funded by the NCAD and Creative Europe as part of a Creative Europe project: Imagining Sustainable Glass Network Europe (ISGNE). This EU funded project includes four partners in the UK, Germany, Latvia and Ireland, and engages with 33 associated organisations in nineteen European countries. This ambitious four year project, culminating in 2021, has initiated a dynamic schedule of cultural events, workshops, exhibitions and publications revolving around glass and its endless possibilities within the context of intangible cultures, design, visual and applied arts.

For more information please go to: irelandglassbiennale.org 



26 September 2019 – 1 December 2019

Wedgwood Room, State Apartments

The Trial is a compelling multi-screen visual art installation on healthcare and human rights in the Irish criminal justice system.

Directed and produced by visual artist Sinead McCann, The Trial is a collaborative artwork made with five men from the Bridge Project Dublin 8, who have lived prison experience, and draws on historical research by UCD historians Catherine Cox and Fiachra Byrne.

The Trial is a four-screen video installation with a running time of 22 minutes. Three characters – Tommy, Charlie, Neilí – tell real stories of those who were held and worked in Irish penal institutions in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It focuses on experiences of solitary confinement, separation from family when in prison, mental and physical wellbeing in prison and childhood experiences of detention in St Patrick’s Institution, Dublin.


24 August 2019 – 29 September 2019

Coach House Gallery, Dublin Castle Gardens

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which in 1969 launched the second wave of the Gay Rights movement. Pathfinders is an on-going national and cross-border project to create an archive of photographic portraits of the pioneer activists within the LGBTQI movement in Ireland.

The recent political advances made nationally suggested a need to revisit the aspirations of those early pioneers, whose voices are not often recognised, and sometimes ignored, within the discourses of the current generation, caught up as they often are in the euphoria of social recognition and equality.

Having personally experienced the once unimaginable advances of the LGBTQ movement, I have also witnessed the naked hatred and ignorance the movement had to overcome in order to find its voice. In the current political atmosphere, I find an ever-greater significance in the words “Lest we forget”. 

To these courageous pioneers I aim to give a visibility in recognition of their invaluable contributions. Pathfinders is my testimony to their achievements.

Paul Connell .


12 April 2019 – 22 September 2019

State Apartment Galleries

Isolated on the Western fringes of Europe it took time before the influence of early 20th century European developments in art reached these shores. This exhibition explores the development of modernism in Ireland beginning in 1920, a period of political turmoil in this country and ends in the modern Ireland of 1960. It will contrast the traditional ‘Irish School of painting’ of the male dominated RHA favoured by de Valera and the new Irish Government to that of the European influenced art that was being championed by women artists such as Mainie Jellett, Evie Hone and Norah McGuinness amongst others through the Dublin Painters Society and the IELA exhibitions.

The exhibition, which has been curated by David Britton, gives the public a unique opportunity to view paintings and sculptures that have been drawn exclusively from private Irish collections with many of the works on exhibition in Dublin for the very first time in over 60 years. The exhibition contains 45 works by such artists as Roderic O’Conor, Jack B. Yeats, Paul Henry, Sean Keating, Sir John Lavery Gerard Dillon, John Luke, Nano Reid and William Scott to name but a few.



14 June 2019 – 31July 2019

Coach House Gallery, Dublin Castle Gardens

Celebrating the children of Ireland, The Ark presents a portrait exhibition of over 100 drawings by some of Ireland’s best known artists. Part of Right Here Right Now! The Ark’s Festival of Children.

Drawn from The Ark’s newly commissioned portrait collection, the exhibition places children at the centre of contemporary art-making.

The contributing artists are Brian Maguire, Blaise Smith, Conor Walton, Dorothy Smith, PJ Lynch, Una Sealy, Gabhann Dunne, Sahoko Blake, Cian McLoughlin, Kathy Tynan, Vera Klute and Alison Pilkington. The resulting art works are really beautiful! This exhibition is both powerful and beautiful.



22 February 2019 – 19 May 2019

Coach House Gallery, Dublin Castle Gardens

Surface Matters, an exhibition of works from the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s PORTFOLIO: Critical Selection 2019-20, will open on  Friday 22nd February 2019 at the Coach House Gallery, Dublin Castle, hosted by the Office of Public Works. This exhibition features 24 makers selected by an independent expert panel for demonstrating excellence in craftsmanship, design quality and technical skill by international standards. PORTFOLIO: Critical Selection, which is part of the broader PORTFOLIO programme, is a biennial publication of the best of Irish contemporary design and craft in a world-class context. The publication aims to increase awareness and understanding of leading Irish makers and their current work.



Dublin Castle Gardens


19 October 2018 – 28 April 2019

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Sir Alfred Chester Beatty’s magnificent bequest, Gift of a Lifetime presents a choice selection of masterpieces from this unique collection. An internationally successful mining magnate and generous philanthropist, Beatty was one of the most prolific and discerning collectors of his generation. From his early years in New York, through his career in London and travels overseas, Beatty acquired rare books, manuscripts and decorative arts of the highest quality and rarity from Europe, the Middle East and Asia.


24 November 2018 – 24 March 2019

State Apartment Galleries

The Office of Public Works presents a stunning exhibition of sculptural pendants and rings by master-goldsmith Rudolf Heltzel, at the State Apartments, Dublin Castle – on tour from the National Design & Craft Gallery and Design & Crafts Council of Ireland. An icon of Irish craft and design, Rudolf Heltzel has gained an international reputation for the originality, quality and timeless aesthetic of his craftsmanship with each piece created meticulously by hand using some of the world’s oldest jewellery techniques. This exhibition will showcase many of his most ambitious and technically complex designs, presenting pieces selected from his personal archive alongside new work in three of his sculptural pendant collections – Rock Crystal, Tourmaline Butterfly and Druzy. A series of spectacular gem rings designed by Heltzel will also be presented in the exhibition.

For Heltzel, jewellery making is part of a living cultural heritage and he takes inspiration from the history, mythology and symbolism of precious metals and stones. He is renowned for pushing to the limits the design and technical skills of precious jewellery making, using traditional techniques to produce a modern aesthetic. Carefully selected unique and extraordinary precious gemstones form the basis of his stunning sculptural designs in 18ct gold, sterling silver and platinum. Settings are carefully designed to show individual stones to their best advantage. His distinctive designs are collectors’ items, with four generations owning and wearing Rudolf Heltzel.


12 November 2018 – 31 March 2019

State Corridor, State Apartments

In June 1938, Douglas Hyde was sworn in as the first President of Ireland in St Patrick’s Hall at Dublin Castle. In November 2018, the Hall will once again be the setting for the presidential inauguration. To celebrate this event and to mark its eightieth anniversary, this exhibition looks back at the inauguration of all nine Irish presidents at Dublin Castle over the past eight decades.

Bringing together video clips from the RTÉ Archives, historical photographs and the original presidential chair used at the inauguration ceremony, it reflects the development of this important State occasion since the days of Douglas Hyde. Through the changing faces of Ireland’s presidents and the themes they championed in their inaugural addresses, it is possible to trace something of the evolution of modern Ireland. Today, we invite you to look back on that evolution through the sights and sounds involved in proclaiming a president.

Curated by Dr Myles Campbell, Collections, Research & Interpretation, Dublin Castle.


14 December 2018 – 3 February 2019

Coach House Gallery, Dublin Castle Gardens

‘Women in Politics and Public Life, from 1918 to 2018’ – a Pop-Up Museum, explores 100 years of women’s participation in politics and public life. This exhibition shines a spotlight on the stories of very familiar and less well known women, who have contributed significantly to Irish political and public life over the past century – on the challenges they faced and the obstacles they overcame. It is told with films, interviews, interactives, objects and information panels. It looks at the individual lives of women elected in each of the era from 1918-2018.

The exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to encourage people of all ages to reflect upon the journey that this country has taken, particularly over the past 100 years. The exhibition, reflecting upon and celebrating all that has been achieved over the past 100 years but with an awareness of the considerable work remaining to be done, will encourage discussion, debate and analysis in ongoing exploration of our history.

The exhibition was curated by the historian, Sinéad McCoole, and supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as part of the Decade of Centenaries programme. The exhibition is open from Friday 14 December 2018 – the 100th anniversary of the historic 1918 general election – until Sunday 3 February 2019 and admission is free. The exhibition will also travel to locations in Munster, Ulster and Connaught during 2019.


International exhibition celebrating the contemporary portrait bust presents world renowned artists at Dublin Castle

14 September 2018 – 4 November 2018

State Apartment Galleries

Portrait busts have been appearing in Western arts since classical Greek and Roman times, depicting illustrious figures such as deities, heroes, emperors and philosophers. The idea of this exhibition is to render visible the portrait bust in a 21st century way.

The exhibition brings together works from an international group of contemporary artists who explore the genre of the portrait bust in a variety of media: from wood to stone, from marble to ceramics, from stainless steel to more ephemeral materials such as sugar. The diversity of materials and techniques should appeal to both the general public as well as art lovers. A catalogue will document the works and the exhibition.

Among the invited International artists are Alessandro Mendini, Giulio Paolini, Francesco Vezzoli, Emily Young, Sir Tony Cragg and Wim Delvoye. Irish artists include Ursula Burke, Janet Mullarney and Kevin Francis Gray.

Curated by Mary Heffernan, General Manager Dublin Castle, Hélène Bremer, Dutch art historian and curator and Nuala Goodman, Milan-based Irish artist and curator.


A text + work touring exhibition, TheGallery, Arts University Bournemouth.

20 July 2018 – 15 September 2018

Coach House Gallery, Dublin Castle Gardens

This exhibition celebrates the life and work of one of most influential designers of the post-war generation, Lucienne Day.

Lucienne Day: Living Design tells the story of Lucienne’s design career unfolding in a sequence of photographs drawn from the archives of the Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation. Photographs show the lead up to her career breakthrough at the Festival of Britain 1951, with her pioneering ‘contemporary’ design Calyx. They also evidence Lucienne’s prolific output of patterns for furnishing dress fabrics, table linen, carpets, wallpapers and ceramics. The exhibition includes current production of Lucienne’s designs, demonstrating the continuing vitality of her design legacy. The exhibition celebrates the centenary of Lucienne’s birth and comes to Dublin in the year of another important centenary that of women’s suffrage in the UK and Ireland.

Curated by Professor Emma Hunt and Professor Paula Day.

Read more here.


Dublin Castle Gardens


9 March 2018 – 2 September 2018

The Coëtivy Hours is a masterpiece of fifteenth-century illumination. It was produced in Paris (1443-1445) for Prigent de Coëtivy, bibliophile and Admiral of France, to mark the occasion of his marriage to Marie de Rais.  A master work on a miniature scale, the exquisite artistry of the Parisian illuminators draws the viewer into each lavishly illuminated page. Read more…


Arts of the Book, a permanent exhibition of almost 600 objects from the Library’s collections displays books from the ancient world, including the world famous Chester Beatty Love Poems (c.1160 BC), Egyptian Books of the Dead and beautifully illuminated European manuscripts. One of the highlights is the display of Western book-bindings (5th-20th century) and Old Master prints. Read more…


The Sacred Traditions Gallery on the second floor of the Chester Beatty Library exhibits the sacred texts, illuminated manuscripts and miniature paintings from the great religions and systems of belief represented in the collections – Christianity, Islam and Buddhism with smaller displays on Confucianism, Daoism, Sikhism and Jainism. Read more…



30 May 2018 – 31 August 2018

State Corridor, State Apartments

The exhibition Georgian National Costume commemorates the centenary of the establishment of the First Democratic Republic of Georgia. Georgian national costume vividly reflects the history of Georgia, the values and cultural diversity of its people. This exhibition presents photographs of Georgian national clothing from the collection of the Georgian State Museum of Theatre, Music, Film and Choreography – The Art Palace.

The costumes range in style from the middle ages to the end of the 20th century. Many of the examples are typical of the sumptuous garments worn by Georgia’s noble and royal families. As a key processional space that was once used by lavishly attired monarchs, viceroys and nobles, but which is today at the heart of a republic, the State Corridor at Dublin Castle serves as a relevant and thought-provoking backdrop for this photographic display.


28 May 2018 – 20 August 2018

State Apartment Galleries

Bringing together the work of major Irish and international artists such as Jack B. Yeats, Paul Henry and Pablo Picasso, this exhibition explores the life and legacy of the artist and collector Derek Hill. Hill lived in Donegal from the early 1950s until his death in 2000. He left his home and collection to the people of Ireland and it is now known as the Glebe House and Gallery. For this special exhibition, part of Hill’s collection travels to Dublin from the Glebe, where it can be enjoyed in the State Apartments Galleries at Dublin Castle.

The exhibition explores Hill’s time in Italy in the 1950s, his close association with Tory island and the folk artists there, and features many of the highlights from his collection of artworks and objects. Hill’s legacy is also examined with a look at the contemporary art scene in Donegal.


8 July 2018 – 29 July 2018

Printworks Exhbition Centre

Clay/works will feature the work of over 100 makers from the four corners of Ireland. A diverse range of ceramic work will be on show including functional, decorative, wall panels and sculptural forms.

This open submission exhibition has seen unprecedented growth in the number of makers submitting over the last five years. It will feature established makers Grainne Watts, Eleanor Swan and Klaus Hartmann alongside emerging makers like Marta Ozog, Gerardine Wisdom and Aisling McElwain. There will be something to interest everyone in this exhibition of over 250 pieces.

Free Admission.



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.

Open daily, 10am – 5pm. Admission FREE. No booking required.

School visits: To book a school visit, please email DublinCastleEducation@opw.ie, indicating your preferred time, date and number of students in your class.


25 September 2017 – 28 April 2018

State Apartment 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.

Click here to see our accompanying programme of lectures, events, and workshops.


7 October 2017 – 5 January 2018

Coach House Gallery, Dublin Castle Gardens

The tradition of the ‘three perfections’, unifying poetry, painting and calligraphy in a single art work captured the cultural imagination during what was the most culturally brilliant era in imperial Chinese history, the Song dynasty (960 – 1279 AD). Drawing inspiration from tradition, this exhibition brings together the poetry of President Michael D. Higgins; the sculpture of the Director of the National Art Museum of China and sculptor, Professor Wu Weishan; the calligraphic works of renowned Chinese calligrapher 
Wei Ligang and of Irish calligrapher Patty Hudak; as well as previously unseen works of the eminent Irish modern artist Patrick Scott. In this way, Beyond the Three Perfections offers a unique artistic collaboration and anchoring point to the evolving Sino-Irish relationship, for two nations each steeped in thousands of years of cultural tradition.

Curated by independent Chinese art specialist Emily de Wolfe Pettit.


13 August 2017 – 27 August 2017

Printworks Exhibition Centre

Clay/Works will feature the work of 60-80 makers from the four corners of the country. A diverse range of ceramic work will be on show, including functional, decorative, wall panels and sculptural forms. The show provides an opportunity for all members to exhibit and features established makers including Jim Turner, Markus Jungmann, Etain Hickey and Susan Beiner, alongside emerging makers Darren Cassidy, Ann McBride and Michelle Collier. There will be something to interest everyone in this exhibition of over 250 pieces.

This year’s exhibition also marks the 40th anniversary of Ceramics Ireland, an impactful membership organisation founded in 1977.


1 July 2017 – 8 September 2017

Coach House Gallery

Silent Testimony, an exhibition of portrait paintings by Colin Davidson, reveals the stories of eighteen people who are connected by their individual experiences of loss through the Troubles – a turbulent 30-year period in Northern Ireland from the late 1960s onwards. The portraits are a powerful response which reflects on how the conflict has had, and continues to have, a profound impact on thousands of individuals – the injured, their families, the families of those who died and the wider community.

Since 2010, Davidson has become internationally renowned for his series of large-scale portraits of actors, musicians, poets and writers. While painting these familiar faces, he became increasingly preoccupied, not with their celebrity, but more with their status as human beings. This continuing exploration of ‘common humanity’ is the foundation on which Silent Testimony rests.


20 June 2017 – 31 December 2017

Wedgwood Room, State Apartments

This exhibition explores the reality of maintaining beauty standards at court in the eighteenth century. It introduces Dublin Castle as the stage on which members of – and visitors to – the viceregal court would flaunt their ability to follow and execute changing trends from London and Paris at that time. The advantages of being fashion-forward determined social status, but the personal cost was high. From toxic concoctions of lipstick to shape-enhancing corsets, this exhibition focuses on make-up, hair, hygiene and both ladies’ and men’s fashion. It shines a light on the age-old human action of presenting oneself at an occasion and asks a question that is as simple as it is elusive: if beauty is in the eye of the beholder – is it worth it?

Curated by Laura Fitzachary and Bronagh Dempsey, Tour Guides and Information Officers, Dublin Castle.



3 April 2017 – 1 September 2017

State Apartment Galleries

In the last decade of the nineteenth century, the book collector and amateur book binder Sir Edward Sullivan was shown a collection of 149 large volumes in exquisite bindings that had been stored, unnoticed, over many years in the Public Records Office in Dublin. They were in fact the Journals of the Houses of Lords and Commons of the old Irish Parliament that ceased to exist after the 1800 Act of Union. Fortunately, Sullivan made rubbings of all 149 volumes, now held by the National Library of Ireland, as the Public Records Office was destroyed by an explosion and all of the magnificent bindings perished in the flames at the onset of the Irish Civil War, in 1922.

In 1990 Philip Maddock, a book collector, inspired by the images displayed in Maurice Craig’s work Irish Book Bindings, 1600–1800, started to build up a visual database of Irish hand tools based on scans of original bindings with a view to making a digital reproduction of one of the lost Irish Parliamentary Journals. The first attempt, Commons Journal 1757, was very pretty but it was not a book. With the help of book binder Trevor Lloyd, Maddock embarked on the major project of reproducing fifteen of the Irish Parliamentary Journals, based on Sullivan’s work. Fourteen of these wonderful volumes are on display in this exhibition along with the finishing tools specially commissioned for the project, as well as examples of eighteenth-century Irish bindings and some of the printed editions of the Lords and Commons Journals in presentation bindings.


IRISH LIGHTS 1911-1923

28 February 2017 – 7 April 2017

Coach House, Dublin Castle Gardens

The Commissioners of Irish Lights are a maritime organisation delivering an essential safety service around the coast of Ireland, protecting the marine environment, and supporting the marine industry and coastal communities.

Using unique sources to set the scene, this exhibition reveals the story of how Irish Lights coped during the daunting events of the First World War and the Irish War of Independence and continued its mission to ensure safety at sea for all.


8 October 2016 – 12 February 2017

This exhibition sees the collection of the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork travel to Dublin for the first time in its near 200-year history.

A selection of 59 works of Irish art from the Crawford’s permanent collection are exhibited in both the historic State Apartments and Coach House at Dublin Castle, establishing interesting resonance between the two institutions.


6 April 2016 – 21 September 2016

This fascinating and evocative exhibition told the story of the role the Castle played during the 1916 Rising, including the attack on the Castle, the installation of the Red Cross Hospital – when the Throne Room, Drawing Room and Portrait Gallery became hospital wards – and the last days of James Connolly at the Castle before he was brought to Kilmainham Gaol to be executed.


24 September 2015 – 6 March 2016

Marking the bicentenary of the Chapel Royal, this exhibition brought together many of the original contents from the Chapel, such as furniture, silverware and historic drawings.
A beautifully illustrated book, The Chapel Royal, Dublin Castle – An Architectural History’, accompanied the exhibition. It includes essays on a diverse range of subjects from music to liturgy to the art of book binding and stained glass, and from stucco work to plate, pinnacles and carved stone. See here for more information on this publication.


4 June 2015 – 6 September 2015

Curated by Irish artist and designer Nuala Goodman and Mary Heffernan, OPW, this exhibition showcased a stunning collection of works, including furniture, ceramics, jewellery, clothing textiles and tableware designed by over 30 esteemed Irish and international designers such as Philip Treacy, Gaetano Pesce and Marianna Kennedy.


28 October 2014 – 17 May 2015

Jane Beatrice (née Mills, 1882-1972), Countess of Granard and wife of Sir Bernard Forbes, the 8th Earl of Granard, requested that some of her art works be donated to the Irish State after her death. The Granard Bequest comprises a collection of paintings, fine French furniture and clocks, oriental porcelain and other items from the original collection at the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Granard residences in Paris and Longford. Since 1973, several generous additions have been made to the bequest by Lord and Lady Granard’s son, Sir Arthur Forbes, 9th Earl of Granard, who continued to donate items to Dublin Castle until his death in 1992.


19 June 2014 – 23 August 2014

This collaborative exhibition combined the alchemic artistry of Dale Chihuly with painter Seaver Leslie’s pen and ink drawings to create a unique collection of golden glass Cylinders. Working with Leslie’s drawings on paper, artists Flora C. Mace and Joey Kirkpatrick constructed fragile glass drawings inspired by James Joyce’s novel Ulysses which Chihuly’ s studio team amalgamated into individual Cylinders of glass wrapped in gold leaf. A revelation in their simplicity, these works pay homage to an intricate narrative.


6 June 2014 – 24 September 2014

For over 40 years, Alec Cobbe has been a key figure in the understanding and presentation of historic painting collections and interiors. This exhibition touched on these and other aspects of his varied career as artist, designer, picture restorer, collector and connoisseur. Curated by Julius Bryant, it was initially presented at the Victoria & Albert Museum from December 2013 to April 2014. The exhibition at Dublin Castle included the additional feature of a room surveying Cobbe’s journey as a painter, curated by artist Woody Kim.

Rhododendron Week, 12 – 18 April 2021

An online event brought to you by the National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh and the Office of Public Works

In early April the Gardens at Kilmacurragh are marked by the splendour of their two centuries old Rhododendron collection bursting into flower. The significance of these venerable trees is down to the site’s long association with the National Botanic Gardens at Glasnevin. The Acton family, who built Kilmacurragh, established a long and fruitful friendship with David Moore and later his son Sir Frederick Moore, successive curators at Glasnevin. From the early 1850s, the Moore’s advised the Acton family on gardening matters and suppled the latest introductions of the great plant hunters, particularly from the Himalayan range. For over 70 years a regular exchange of plants resulted in Kilmacurragh becoming one of the best stocked private gardens in these islands. Today the collection boasts 180 species of Rhododendron and over 420 varieties. Since taking over the management of the site in 1996, the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland have both restored, and greatly expanded the collection. Rhododendron Week will become an annual event in the calendar, when we can showcase the highlights of the collection and explore the stories behind them. This year we are delighted to be collaborating with the RHS Rhododendron, Camellia & Magnolia Group. We have a series of video stories and online talks to be launched every day of the week, with keynote speakers Dr Matthew Jebb, Director of the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland, Seamus O’Brien, Head Gardener of the National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh and Richard Baines, Curator of the Logan Botanic Garden, Scotland. Wherever you live, we are delighted to be able to bring this event to you all online.

Bookings are now open for the online talks on Eventbrite, while our video stories will be available on our Youtube channel from Monday 12th April.

Watch the promotional trailer here