Free Public Tours

All tours are at 2 pm

We provide Free Tours for all at Crawford Art Gallery every Sunday and Bank holiday Monday as well as Saturdays during July and August at 2 pm. Our friendly expert tour guides will bring you on a journey through this historical building with stories of our collection which includes over 4,000 pieces and our visiting exhibitions. Each tour is unique so an original experience is guaranteed every time. Not to be missed!

Sunday 29 March

Sunday 5 April

Sunday 12 April

Sunday 19 April

Sunday 26 April

Sunday 3 May

Sunday 10 May

Sunday 17 May

Sunday 24 May

Sunday 31 May

Saturday 6 June

Saturday 13 June

Saturday 20 June

Saturday 27 June

Saturday 4 July

Saturday 4 July

Saturday 11 July

Saturday 18 July

Saturday 25 July

Saturday 1 August

Saturday 8 August

Saturday 15 August

Saturday 22 August

Saturday 29 August

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Sunday at Crawford

Every Sunday Crawford Art Gallery offers a range of activities to engage and entertain audiences of all ages.  With Family Friendly workshops, Gallery Tours, Storytelling with BrokenCrow theatre company and Music at Midday with CIT Cork School of Music Sundays are a special day at the Gallery.  Vibrant Sunday programming of this National Cultural Institution aims to stimulate and foster greater social engagement and creativity through the Visual  Arts. 

Sunday 29 March 2020

Sunday 5 April 2020

Sunday 12 April 2020

Sunday 19 April 2020

Sunday 26 April 2020


Sunday 29th March

Sunday 26th April

Sunday 31st May

Sunday 28th June

Sunday 27th September

Sunday 25th October

Sunday 29th November 

Sunday 27th December 

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On 3 February 1919, Joseph Stafford Gibson died in Madrid. In his will, the native of Kilmurry, County Cork bequeathed his collection of ceramics, coins, engravings, miniatures, silverware, watercolours, and £14,790 (today close to €750,000) ‘for the furthering of art in the city of his boyhood.’

The earliest purchases made under the Gibson Bequest coincided with a tumultuous time for Ireland – the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War framing the emergence of the Irish Free State. The young nation’s subsequent neutrality during ‘The Emergency’ (Second World War) may suggest an increasing distance from world affairs that is contrary to the outlook of the Gibson Bequest Committee.

Perhaps informed by the international life of Joseph Stafford Gibson (1837-1919) himself, works collected in his name demonstrate a distinct outwardness and appetite for British and French contemporary artists, as well as those from Ireland. Moreover, exceptional local artists benefited from Gibson Scholarships which enabled them to travel to and study in London, Madrid, Bayreuth, Paris, and Rome.

You are invited to journey through the work of 35 Irish and international artists to locales – local, foreign, and creative – made before the existence of the European common travel area.

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STATIO BENE: Art and Ireland’s Maritime Haven

From 28 March 2020

Cork, its city and environs have for centuries benefited from the natural maritime haven that is its harbour. Amongst the largest of its kind in the world, Cork Harbour has been a porous site of settlement, migration, international trade, fortification, and leisure, and holds deep cultural and economic relevance.

Fittingly presented in the Long Room of the city’s old Custom House (Crawford Art Gallery), this exhibition is inspired by Cork’s motto – Statio Bene Fide Carinis (a safe harbour for ships) – and coincides with the 300th anniversary of the world’s oldest established yacht club: Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Addressing the maritime traditions of Cork and the south of Ireland, this exhibition considers the concept of a 'safe harbour' as an anchorage in cultural, social, naval, and other terms. It features objects that describe the harbour and river, shipping and leisure, defence, mobility of people – including Napoleon’s physician, Dr James Roche Verling – and Cork's global connectedness.

Drawn from Crawford Art Gallery’s own extensive collection, the exhibition includes works by Willem Van de Velde (1611-1693), Sarah Grace Carr (1794-1837), George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson (1806-1884), Robert Lowe Stopford (1813-1898), Norah McGuinness (1901-1980), David Lilburn and Jamie Murphy, among others.

Curated by Dr Michael Waldron

Exhibition and associated programmes made possible with the support of:

O'Leary Insurance Group logo, Mainport Logo, Port of Cork logo

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8 February⁠–⁠29 March 2020

Mise Éire – ‘I [am] Ireland’ – presents a selection of works from the collection. As Ireland and Northern Ireland near the centenary of their foundation, the exhibition seeks to address pertinent questions of independence and partition, and the often strained interplay of history, modernity, and nationalism.

Displayed across two gallery spaces, the exhibition is inspired by the Irish-language poem, “Mise Éire” (1912) by Pádraig Pearse, in which Ireland speaks of its lost glory, its shame, pain, and sorrow. Two further poems, written by William Butler Yeats, are drawn upon to frame the changes, both social and political, that shaped the development of this island during the twentieth century.

Works by artists Robert Ballagh, Rita Duffy, Mainie Jellett, Seán Keating, John Lavery, Mary Swanzy, Jack B. Yeats, among others contribute to our understanding of what both Ireland and Northern Ireland have become: can they offer a vision of progress, even utopia, and still account for violence, censorship, inequality, and exclusion?

By no means exhaustive, this exhibition asks who gets to define Ireland.

Curated by Michael Waldron 

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Zurich Portrait Prize talk

Thursday 2 April 6pm

Zurich Portrait Prize talk hosted by Dragana Jurišić & Patricia Coughlan

As part of our Lifelong Learning 2020 and Zurich Portrait Prize events, artist Dragana Jurišić will be joined in conversation with Patricia Coughlan (Professor Emerita, UCC) to discuss her work, and its particular relationship with literature, from YU: The Lost Country and Rebecca West's Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, to My Own Unknown and Museum, her collaboration with poet Paula Meehan.

Dragana Jurišić's portrait of Paula Meehan is featured in the Zurich Portrait Prize 2019, which runs in our Gibson Galleries (Floor 1) until 13 April.

Free event | No booking 

Zurich_Portrait_Prize logo
Cork LIfelong festival
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Music at Midday

Upcoming Concerts

5 April

3 May

7 June

4 October

1 November

6 December

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HARRY CLARKE: Early Stained Glass


Demonstrating the emergence of one of Ireland's best-loved artists, this exhibition presents three of Harry Clarke's earliest stained glass panels in a darkened, secluded setting.

Dating to a highpoint in the Celtic Revival period, these panels were made while Clarke was still a student at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art. For these, he was awarded a highly coveted gold medal at the South Kensington National Competitions in 1911, for which work by students from England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland was adjudicated. These panels offer early evidence of the artist's emerging creativity and also forecast the inventiveness and originality of his later work, particularly his first major commission at the Honan Chapel (1916), University College Cork.

The three stained glass panels are presented to visitors in order of creation: The Consecration of St Mel, Bishop of Longford, by St Patrick (1910), The Godhead Enthroned 
1911), and The Meeting of St Brendan with the Unhappy Judas (1911).

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Recasting Canova


Recasting Canova celebrates the bicentenary of the Canova Casts, the prestigious gift that forms the basis of our collection. The exhibition will present a re-energised and streamlined display of twelve historic sculptural casts. These faithful reproductions of renowned sculptures from Antiquity and the early 1800s were created under the supervision of the great Neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova (1757-1822).

Reproducing some of the greatest works of Ancient Greek and Roman sculpture in the Vatican Museums, the Canova Casts were commissioned by Pope Pius VII as a gift for the Prince Regent (later King George IV) in thanks for Britain’s role in deposing Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo (1815). Made in Rome, these casts were subsequently dispatched from Deptford, London in October 1818 and, since their arrival in Cork, have transformed the ways in which art has been appreciated, studied, and practiced in the south of Ireland.

Recasting Canova offers visitors the opportunity to encounter this curious footnote to the Napoleonic era, and to explore the Classical style of Ancient Greece and Rome, the ways in which it has influenced the art of later times, and how its idea of perfection has been imitated, refashioned, and reproduced by artists.

Curated by Dr Michael Waldron

You can download the Exhibition Brochure here.

Pat McDonnell Paints Logo
Supporter of this exhibition

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Spanning 1714 to 1830, the Georgian Period in Ireland is characterised by significant urban development, advances in architecture and design, and a flourishing of the visual arts. This exhibition is displayed within two domestic scale rooms, which date to 1724 and once functioned as part of the old Custom House of Cork.

Featured in GEORGIAN IRELAND are pieces of period furniture, books, silver, glass, Chinese porcelain, and fine examples of society portraiture, Irish landscapes, and genre scenes, many of which are drawn from the Cooper Penrose Collection.

Cooper Penrose (1736-1815) was a Quaker ‘merchant prince’ who, with interests in timber and property, benefited greatly from the opportunities available during the later Georgian Period. Together with his brother, the Penrose family established Cork and Waterford Glass. In addition, he assembled a renowned art collection in Cork, which once included a portrait by the celebrated French artist Jacques-Louis David (now in the Timken Museum of Art, San Diego).

Along with John Butts’ iconic View of Cork from Audley Place (c.1750), visitors will have the opportunity to encounter the work of key Irish artists of the period, including James Barry, Francis Bindon, Charles Forrest, Nathaniel Grogan, Thomas Pope-Stevens, and Martin Archer Shee, in addition to works after Joshua Reynolds and by the circles of Peter Lely and Allan Ramsay.

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Friends of Crawford Art Gallery

SPRING 2020 Lunchtime Talk Series

(Please see Hardcopy brochure for more details)

Friday 13 March      
12.30 – 13.30 pm       Gallery Lecture Theatre
'The Life and Death of Terence MacSwiney' A Talk with Gerry White, military historian and author.

 Photo © Credit: John Lavery, Sketch for the Funeral of Terence MacSwiney, Lord Mayor of Cork 1920, 1920. © Collection Crawford Art Gallery
Photo © Credit: John Lavery, Sketch for the Funeral of Terence MacSwiney, Lord Mayor of Cork 1920, 1920. © Collection Crawford Art Gallery

Gerry White is a Cork military historian and author. Gerry will discuss the life of the former Lord Mayor of Cork (28 March 1879 – 25 October 1920) and events that lead to the Irish playwright, author and politicians’ death.  Terence MacSwiney's death on the 25th October 1920 after 74 days on hunger strike brought him and the Irish Republican campaign to international attention.

Friday 20 March      
12.30 – 13.30 pm       Gallery Lecture Theatre
‘The Men (and Women) of the South: Reframing the Irish Revolution’
A talk with Dr Donal Ó’Drisceoil, Lecturer UCC.

Photo © Credit: Cork University Press
Photo © Credit: Cork University Press

Dr Donal Ó’Drisceoil is a Senior Lecturer in History at UCC. He is one of the editors of the award-winning Atlas of the Irish Revolution.

New sources and research are complicating and deepening our understanding of the revolutionary years in Ireland. Using paintings, photographs, documents and maps featured in the Atlas of the Irish Revolution, this lecture will look at how we visualise the revolution and explore the current 'state of the art' of Irish revolutionary historiography.

Friday 27 March      
12.30 – 13.30 pm       Gallery Lecture Theatre
‘The influence Irish writers have brought to my work in recent years’
A Talk with Angie Shanahan, visual artist.

Image: © Angie Shanahan 'Wind Toppled Nest'.
Image: © Angie Shanahan 'Wind Toppled Nest'.

Angie Shanahan, a visual artist in the narrative style, will give an illustrated talk on the influence Irish writers have brought to her work in recent years.  As a young graduate, Angie won a Taylor Bequest Award for painting and also a Vision Award adjudicated by James White, former Director of the National Gallery.  In the last year, she has exhibited in selected group shows in London, Sligo, Dublin, Cork, Berlin and New York. 

Angie works out of a studio on Wandesford Quay - the south channel of the River Lee - with the Backwater Artists Group which celebrates its 30th year in 2020. Like the river which weaves its way around the city and into the hearts of city dwellers, the influence of writers such as Derek Mahon, Tim Robinson, William Butler Yeats and William Wall has wound its way into Angie’s work, inspiring in her both an emotional and collaborative response. 

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Rembrandt in Print

Saturday 22 May – Sunday 23 August 2020

Rembrandt in Print presents 50 of the finest works from the Ashmolean’s world-class collection of over 200 etchings and drypoints by Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669).

Widely hailed as the greatest painter of the Dutch Golden Age, Rembrandt was also one of the most innovative and experimental printmakers of the seventeenth century. This touring exhibition will present Rembrandt as an unrivalled storyteller through a selection of fifty outstanding prints ranging from 1630 until the late 1650s. These works demonstrate Rembrandt’s inventive techniques and extraordinary skills. They are displayed together for the first time.

While most other contemporary printmakers made prints of historical, religious or mythological subjects, Rembrandt delighted in presenting everyday scenes. The exhibition includes a range of these images such as intimate family studies, a selection of confronting life-drawn nudes and carefully detailed characters observed on the streets of his native Leiden, including peasants, Ringball players and the repugnant Rat Catcher (1632).

This exhibition has been organised by the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford.

Exhibition and associated programmes made possible with the support of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

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Saturday 20 June – Sunday 20 September 2020

Expulsion will be the second exhibition in this new artist-directed yearly programme, which aims to support artists to pursue their current research interests and connect with audiences through a collaboration with the Crawford Art Gallery, its site, collection and location. The programme aims to platform the development of an artist’s career and its often intrinsic relationship with the institution.

Exhibiting in Cork for the first time, artist-filmmaker Kevin Gaffney will premier Expulsion. Shot in part at Crawford Art Gallery. Expulsion imagines a Queer State, an anti-capitalist society whose citizens strive to live in harmony with the environment.

The exhibition will also feature Far from the Reach of the Sun – a film set in a near future where a government-approved drug can alter your sexuality.

“As a natural storyteller, albeit with surreal leanings, Gaffney leaves the viewer with little sense of whether they are witnessing a dystopian or utopian view of the past, present or indeed the future.” Kathleen Soriano, in the exhibition text for Unseen By My Open Eye, 2017

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Crawford Art Gallery

Crawford Art Gallery