A new exhibition at the furniture galleries of the National Museum of Ireland is shown in a series of room settings. There is a 17th century bedroom with a rare Flemish stand-bed, oak chests and panelling, a refined Georgian dining room, a 19th century music room with an Irish invention, the idiophone or musical glasses, and a 20th century furniture gallery displaying Irish modernism from 1900 to the present.
This includes Arts and Crafts pieces from the Kilkenny woodworker’s colony, Art Nouveau chairs from the Paris exhibition of 1900, an Irish Art Deco bedroom, and the thoroughly modernist style of a 1950s living room. There is work by some of Ireland’s best contemporary furniture designers; Joseph Walsh, Nest Furniture Design, John Lee, Zelouf and Bell and a block screen inspired by Eileen Gray created by Sasha Sykes.
International furniture not shown for many decades explores the theme of ancient chests, coffers and boxes. There is a Renaissance bridal chest, a 15th century Spanish pilgrimage chest and a rare Persian coffer, covered in mother of pearl. Tracing the development of furniture in Ireland from 1600 to the present the exhibition is enhanced by textiles, silver, glass and ceramics and an accompanying interactive gallery. It can been seen on the second floor of the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, Dublin. All images are copyright National Museum of Ireland.