Christmas at the Gallery

Detail from Harry Clarke, 'The Little Sea Maid', 1915.

Christmas Opening Hours.

Monday 22 December ... 9.30am-5.30pm
Tuesday 23 December ... 9.30am-5.30pm
Christmas Eve ... CLOSED
Christmas Day ... CLOSED
St. Stephen's Day ... CLOSED
Saturday 27 December ... 9.30am-5.30pm
Sunday 28 December ... 11am-5.30pm
Monday 29 December ... 9.30am-5.30pm
Tuesday 30 December ... 9.30am-5.30pm
Wednesday 31 December ... 9.30am-5.30pm
Thursday 1 January ... 10am-5.30pm
Friday 2 January ... 9.30am-5.30pm


2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the Christmas Family Art Holiday at the National Gallery of Ireland. The first Christmas Art Holiday was introduced to the National Gallery in 1964 by Dr. James White (director 1964-1980), who was a great promoter of the educational importance of the Gallery's collection.

As the longest-running museum activity in Ireland, the Art Holiday is now firmly part of the post-Christmas traditional outing in Dublin and continues to be a popular event for all the family. An extended programme this year will take place over five days, from 27th to 31st December, with family art workshops, music and tours.

Saturday 27 December
12.30pm Family Tour
3pm Family Art Workshop ‘Wizards’ with Alan Nolan
4pm Music in the Millennium Wing

Sunday 28 December
12.30pm Family Tour
1.30pm Musical Trio in the Millennium Wing
1.45pm ‘Images from the Past: Christmas Art Holiday 1964-2013’
2pm SPECIAL EVENT: Artists in conversation about their memories of the Christmas Art Holiday at the NGI;
    - Robert Ballagh, artist and designer
    - Una Sealy ARHA
    - Eamon Colman, artist
    - Martin Gale RHA
    - Helen Norton, actor, voice-over artist and children’s playwright
    - Don Conroy, artist, author and illustrator
    - Michelle Boyle, artist
    - Marie Bourke, Head of Education, NGI
    - Chair: Evelyn O’Rourke, RTÉ
3pm Family Art Workshop ‘Christmas Magic’ with PJ Lynch
3.50pm ‘Images from the Past: Christmas Art Holiday 1964-2013’
4pm Music in the Millennium Wing

Monday 29 December
12.30 Family Tour
3pm Family Art Workshop ‘Dragons and Fantasy Creatures’ with Anthea West
4pm Music in the Millennium Wing

Tuesday 30 December
10.30am ‘Highlights of the 150th Anniversary Year in 2014’ with Sinead K. Rice, NGI
12.30pm Family Tour
3pm Family Art Workshop ‘Winter Wonderland’ with Andrew Brown

Wednesday 31 December
12.30pm Family Tour
3pm Family Art Workshop ‘Midnight Festival’ with Louise McGrath

DETAILS: All events are free. No booking necessary. Bring your sketchpads, pencils and colours. Children should be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Telephone (01) 661 5133. Email

Children’s and Family programmes at the NGI are supported by Matheson Foundation.

  The Matheson Foundation

JMW Turner, 'Great Yarmouth Harbour, Norfolk'.


Turner: The Vaughan Bequest (Opens 1 January 2014)
Beit Wing (rm 7). Admission free.
Curators: Anne Hodge & Niamh MacNally

The Vaughan Bequest comprises a collection of 31 watercolours and drawings by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851). The collection spans Turner’s early topographical scenes and expressive images from his later European tours. Henry Vaughan, the English collector who bequeathed these works, died unmarried in 1899, aged 90. He divided his Turner watercolours between the national galleries in London, Dublin and Edinburgh.  His bequest to the National Gallery of Ireland stipulated that the drawings should be exhibited to the public, free of charge, each January when the light is at its lowest level. The Gallery continues to adhere to the conditions of Vaughan’s bequest by showing these luminous watercolours for one month only. The exhibition this year will display the watercolours and drawings in their original frames.

Exhibitions continuing...

Lines of Vision: Irish Writers at the National Gallery
Until 12 April 2015
Millennium Wing (rms 1-5). Admission free.

Dorothy Cross at the National Gallery
Until 8 March 2015
Millennium Wing Sculpture Corridor. Admission free.

Hennessy Portrait Prize
Until 8 February 2015
Millennium Wing Studio. Admission free.

From the Archives: The Story of the National Gallery of Ireland
Until 12 April 2015
Print Gallery. Admission free.