Museums Now is an all-island initiative taking place on the 11th and 12th of September —
A special programme of events will take place in museums, from both sides of the border, over the weekend of the 11th and 12th of September to encourage visitors back into museums.
The initiative — titled Museums Now — is being brought to the public by the Irish Museums Association and the NI Museums Council, which jointly represent more than 150 museums and collection-based organisations across the island of Ireland. It is funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media’s Cooperation with NI Funding Scheme.
Having been closed to visitors for many months, many of Ireland’s museums have once again opened their doors to the public, and are offering a range of exciting and safe experiences from free entry to special free-flow tours exploring ‘hidden histories’.
Commenting on the initiative, chairperson of the Irish Museums Association and Head of Collections and Learning at the National Museum of Ireland, Dr Audrey Whitty said, “Our museums are important community spaces, where people of all generations and interests can come together in person to reflect, learn and have fun. We are excited to be welcoming people back through our doors, to rediscover the collections and see first-hand the work our museums have been carrying out during closure to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit; from new temporary exhibitions and offerings, to putting in place measures to protect our visitors. With almost 250 museums across the island, specialising in everything from art to zoology, there’s something for everyone to enjoy and we’d encourage you to make it a Museums Now weekend.”
Also commenting, Siobhan Stevenson, Director of the Northern Ireland Museums Council, said, “I’m delighted to be inviting the public back into museums across the island of Ireland on the 11th and 12th of September to celebrate the reopening of these special spaces. With their unique collections and engaging events, museums can provide inspiration, hope and entertainment, as well as opportunities for interaction and connection, which should be welcome relief for everyone in the aftermath of the challenging eighteen months that have gone by. The Museums Now weekend will coincide with the European Heritage Open Days 2021, Northern Ireland’s celebration of local history, culture and architecture, making it an extra-special time to revisit your local museum.”
A sample of Museum Now event highlights include:
- Join a free flow (and free) tour of the hidden histories of Castle Ward, Co Down, with stories related to Women’s history, LGBTQ+ history, mental health in history and the history of the servants who lived and worked here.
- Check out free access and special events for over 250 sites and properties for Northern Ireland’s celebration of European Heritage Open Days 2021.
- Book a free ticket to Kilkenny Castle and see the new temporary exhibition The Ros Tapestry: A Tale told in thread.
- Visit the Wild Elephants of Dublin 8 exhibition at Marsh’s Library, see the selected beautiful ancient book on display for one day only, and take part in their popular Mini- Figure Hunt Visit. Admission: €3-€5.
- Don’t miss the latest temporary exhibition at Castlebar’s National Museum of Ireland – Country Life, Polish Folk Art – Beliefs, Colour and Symbols. Free admission.
- Go on a self-guided tour of a recreated turn of the century village street at Sligo Folk Park, visiting the schoolhouse, the ‘World’s Most Travelled Cottage’, and the exhibitions. Admission: €4-€8.
- Spend the day exploring 1000 years of history with Waterford Treasures – five museums in the Viking Triangle’s Freedom of Waterford walking tour and access to the Medieval Museum, Bishop’s Palace, and the brand new Irish Museum of Time and the Irish Silver Museum. Ticket/Pass: €15.
- Last chance to visit the free temporary exhibitions, running until 12th September, at Limerick City Gallery of Art: The Loneliness of Being German: Thomas Brezing & Vera Klute, Common Thread, Maighread Tobin, and National Collection of Contemporary Drawing (NCCD) celebrating 30 YRS 1991-2021 curated by Samuel Walsh.
Stay up-to-date with the programme of Museums Now events and participating museums online at www.irishmuseums.org/MuseumsNow where more events will be added in the lead-up to the weekend.