Discover a comprehensive collection of paintings, photographs, sculptures and video installations spanning over 5 centuries at the Crawford Art Gallery. Established in 1819 with a donation of Greco-Roman and neo-Classical sculptures, today the Crawford Art Gallery has a permanent collection of over 2,500 pieces. While Irish art makes up the bulk of the collection, you’ll also find works by notable European artists.
Crawford Art Gallery spreads over three floors of Cork’s former Customs House, an architectural masterpiece built in 1724. Each floor has galleries dedicated to both permanent and temporary exhibitions.
In the gallery’s painting collections, see works by many of Ireland’s most celebrated artists. Among these are James Barry, Nathaniel Hone and Sir John Lavery. Spot paintings by the revered father and son, John B. Yeats and Jack B. Yeats. Don’t miss the exhibit dedicated to female Irish artists from 1886 to 2000, including Mainie Jellett and Anne Butler Yeats.
A selection of the gallery’s major highlights decorate the sculpture rooms. See casts of Greek figures, such as Adonis and Socrates, created by Italian Antonio Canova representing the Greco-Roman period. Many of Canova’s works arrived in Cork in the early 1800s from the Vatican Museum.
Other exhibit rooms focus on varied art from drawings to photographs and stained-glass windows. Admire watercolors by Henry John Noblett and Samuel Forde’s unfinished sketch, the Fall of the Rebel Angels. Get an insight into the opulent life of a leading 18th-century merchant family while browsing the books, ceramics and furniture of the Cooper Penrose Collection.
Located in Cork’s city center, the gallery is a short walk from attractions such as the English Market and St. Patrick’s Bridge. Public buses stop close to the gallery. Pay to park in a lot on nearby Paul Street.
Admission to Crawford Art Gallery is free. It’s open from Monday to Saturday, except select public holidays. Visit on Thursday for extended opening hours. Purchase prints of the collections in the gallery shop or have a light meal or refreshments in the café. Find more information on the gallery’s official website.