This gallery illustrates my whistle-stop trip to Tallinn, Estonia. I was invited to deliver a paper at a seminar, part of the 7th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial, for an edited version of that paper, see here. This post is about … Continue reading →
Even though I’ve been to Dublin many times, this was my first visit to one of the city’s three sites that house the National Museum of Ireland. Having read about the museum’s development in Anthony Burton’s Vision & Accident: The Story of the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A Publications, 1999), I was interested to see if its 19th-century roots, administered by the Department of Science and Art, as part of its “South Kensington system”, might still be evident.
Today the museum combines a distinctive building and interior, a world-class collection, and a friendly, inclusive “interface”. Founded in 1877 as the Museum of Science and Art, it brought together a number of collections and institutions (not unlike the Victoria and Albert Museum’s origins). The museum building in Kildare Street (and its opposite twin, the National Library of Ireland), resulted from an architectural competition won by Thomas Newenham Deane, with the purpose-built museum opening in the 1880s. The two institutions flank the 18th-century Leinster House, originally home to the Royal Dublin Society, it became the new nation’s parliament building on independence from Britain in 1921. The proximity of museum to government points to the importance the Nationalists afforded to the exploration and preservation of Ireland’s cultural heritage. Continue reading →