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The National Gallery of Ireland

Founded  1854
Location Merrion Square West, Dublin 2, Ireland

The National Gallery of Ireland was established by an Act of Parliament in August 1854 (the “1854 Act”). Since then there have been a number of subsequent amending Acts providing for the administration of the institution. Under its statutes the affairs of the National Gallery are entrusted to a Board of Governors and Guardians who are responsible for policy and oversight. The statutes provide for a post of a Director, who is appointed by the Board, and is responsible for the operation of the institution.

The most recent legislation concerning the Gallery is the National Cultural Institutions Act, 1997.

An autonomous national cultural institution, the Gallery operates under the aegis of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.



The Gallery’s library and archive collections are a significant resource for anyone interested in researching art and its associated disciplines. These collections are held in the Art Library, the ESB Centre for the Study of Irish Art, the Yeats Archive, the Institutional Archive and the Sir Denis Mahon Library and Archive. Rich and varied, these resources relate to the national and international development of the visual arts from the middle ages onward and support the study of the development the Western European artistic tradition. These collections play a valuable role in supporting the work of the Gallery’s curatorial, exhibitions, conservation, registration, education and research staff. The collections are regularly consulted by artists, students, scholars and academics, art dealers and collectors and members of the public.

The collections, as well as a number of online resources, are available for consultation in the reading rooms of the Art Library and ESB Centre for the Study of Irish Art. Tours of the collections are available by request.2