Limerick City Gallery of Art (LCGA) is a contemporary art gallery in Ireland and home to an important collection of Irish 18th to 21st century art in all media, with the National Collection of Contemporary Drawing and the Michael O’Connor International Poster Collection part of it Collections. The Permanent Collection is exhibited on a rotation basis throughout the year in its dedicated exhibition gallery. Artists within the Permanent Collection are Paul Henry, Jack B. Yeats, Sean Keating, Charles Lamb, Letita Hamilton, Grace Henry, Sarah Purser, Walter Verling, Donald Teskey, John Shinnors, and many more.
LCGA hosts contemporary exhibits with Irish and International artists and exhibits selections from the Permanent Collection on a rotation basis to exhibit along side our contemporary exhibitions.
LCGA hosts EVA International, Ireland’s biennial of contemporary art. (EVA International previously ev+a (Exhibition of Visual+ Art) inviting a leading international curator to curate an exhibition for Limerick City, in formal exhibition areas and city wide venues.1
Limerick City Galley of Art (LCGA) occupies the historic Neo-Hiberno-Romanesque Carnegie Building, 1906, adjacent to the People’s Park and on the 19th century, Georgian styled, Pery Square in Limerick City. The building was funded by Andrew Carnegie (1835 – 1919) as Carnegie Free Library and Museum.
In 1936 a group of prominent Limerick politicians, artists and patrons established the first Limerick City Collection of Art from various donations and bequests. In 1948 an extension to the rear of Limerick Free Library and Museum became the home to the City Collection as the Limerick Free Art Gallery. In 1985 the Library and Museum were transferred to larger buildings.
Limerick City Gallery of Art has since 1985 occupied the entire Carnegie Building, undergoing two major renovation and expansion in 1999 and in 2010/11.
In 2008 LCGA celebrated its sixtieth birthday and in 2009 work commenced on the largest addition to the Carnegie Building since its opening a century before. Limerick’s municipal art collection is one of the finest in the country outside Dublin. Fittingly, the seventy-fifth anniversary of its foundation has been marked by the official opening of the newly extended LCGA on 16th January 2012 by Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
In 2012, the Carnegie Building (a protected structure) re-opened with the extended three sides into the People’s Park to house a new storage space for the permanent collection, a café social space, a workshop area and additional public facilities. The extension was designed by Hugh Murray of Limerick (Project Architect) and John A. O’Reilly of County Clare (Design Architect) and funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht through the Access II scheme (designed to assist the provision of high standard arts and culture infrastructure) which provided 70 per cent of the cost and Limerick City Council, which provided the other 30 per cent. The scale of the redevelopment necessitated the closure of LCGA in Pery Square for a period of over a year, during which time parts of the Permanent Collection were exhibited in The Hunt Museum, the Jim Kemmy City Museum and also at Istabraq Hall, City Hall, Merchants Quay. LCGA continued to exhibit its contemporary exhibitions while off-site from Pery Square.
Access II funding from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht was granted to the development, with also funding from City Council. A sculpture – to be called “The Siege of Limerick” – was acquired from internationally renowned, New York-based artist Brian O’Doherty to mark the re-opening in 2012. The acquisition of the ‘triangular’ sculpture has been funded by the ‘Per Cent for Art’ programme, which allows pieces of art to be commissioned or purchased as a complement to an architectural development.
In 2012 when LCGA re-opened in Pery Square a major exhibition of works from the Permanent Collection was exhibited throughout the ground floor galleries and was accompanied by a small catalogue booklet. The exhibition was titled A Vivid Imagination.
To accompany the 2012 re-opening Limerick City Council published a small booklet, Limerick City Gallery of Art A Short History written by Dr. Matthew Potter. 2
- 2007, The Family Man, Joe Duggan, Limerick City Art Gallery