A Tuam or Sligo chair, part of the special exhibition on Irish chairs this October at the museum.

Plenty to see this autumn and winter at Mayo's National Museum of Ireland - Country Life

THE National Museum of Ireland - Country Life at Turlough Park, Castlebar, has announced a fascinating and diverse programme of temporary exhibitions and installations coming up this autumn/winter 2021.

Here are four exhibitions to keep an eye out for. In order to facilitate a safe and enjoyable visit, booking is now required for admission to the exhibition galleries at the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life.

You can book your free ticket at www.museum.ie. Admission to the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, Turlough Park House & Gardens is free.

The exhibition galleries are open Tuesday to Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday to Monday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.


A special exhibition of Irish chairs collected by the National Museum of Ireland over a 90-year period opens at the NMI - Country Life this October. Our Irish Chair: Tradition Revisited is the flagship temporary exhibition at the Museum for 2021/2022.

The exhibition will explore the design and exceptional crafting tradition of the Irish chair type known as the Sligo or Tuam chair and the creativity it continues to inspire.

The Museum's full collection of these chairs will go on display for the first time, taking a closer look at this chair type and its place in the story of Irish design.

It also celebrates makers who preserved this crafting tradition, and makers and artists of today who continue to be inspired by the chair.


A new exhibition of photographs of the west of Ireland opens in the Courtyard Gallery this September.

Field Work by Betsy Stirratt features places notable for their form, history and beauty, marked by time and human intervention.

People’s connection to the land is of particular interest to artist and this ‘reveals itself in the numerous and varied prehistoric monuments (e.g. stone circles, court tombs) and the forgotten but sometimes still used sites of agricultural and historical activity’.

Betsy Stirratt is a native of New Orleans, USA, and the founding director of the Grunwald Gallery of Art at Indiana University in Bloomington.


1845: Memento Mori is an art installation of 1,845 hand-blown glass potatoes by Seattle-based artist Paula Stokes, which goes on display at the Museum this November.

The exhibition is a Famine memorial, which has taken the artist 15 years to complete. The title of the project references the year that the potato blight came to Ireland, marking the beginning of a period of mass starvation, disease and emigration. Over 1.5 million people died, and a further one million emigrated to Australia, Canada and America.

The installation is currently touring various venues throughout Ireland.


One Day: 40 Sunrises is an exhibition/project by Mayo based artist Ian Wieczorek. It opens at the Courtyard Gallery later this year. It comprises 40 oil paintings, following sunrise around the world on a randomly chosen day (July 15, 2020) based on live webcam feeds accessed via the internet.

The locations were chosen to reflect as broad a geographical spread as possible.

Numerically, the 40 paintings also acknowledge the phenomenon of ‘quarantine’, a word deriving from the Italian 'quaranta giorni' (meaning 40 days), the period that ships were required to remain in isolation before passengers and crew could disembark during a much earlier pandemic, the Black Death.


You can now catch-up on our recent online workshop by visiting the NMI’s YouTube channel to learn how to make your own fairy door from upcycled and natural materials.

Join artists Tom Meskell and Carmel Balfe of Wandering Lighthouse Arts for this pre-recorded 'Museum at Home' activity. Search National Museum of Ireland on YouTube to subscribe to the Museum’s channel and watch a wide range of live and pre-recorded online workshops and events.