Crawford Art Gallery

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Crawford Art Gallery
Áiléar Crawford
Crawford logo.jpeg
Crawford Art Gallery, Cork City.jpg
Main entrance on Emmet Place
Crawford Art Gallery is located in Ireland
Crawford Art Gallery
Location within Ireland
Established1850 (as Cork School of Design)
1880 (as Crawford Art School)
1979 (as Crawford Art Gallery)
LocationEmmet Place, Cork, Ireland
Coordinates51°53′59″N 8°28′24″W / 51.8998°N 8.4733°W / 51.8998; -8.4733Coordinates: 51°53′59″N 8°28′24″W / 51.8998°N 8.4733°W / 51.8998; -8.4733
TypeMunicipal art gallery
Key holdingsGreek and Roman sculpture casts (1818)
Collection sizec.4,000 works[1]
Visitors265,438 (2019)[2]

The Crawford Art Gallery (Irish: Áiléar Crawford)[3] is a public art gallery and museum in the city of Cork, Ireland. Known informally as the Crawford,[4] it was designated a 'National Cultural Institution' in 2006.[5] It is "dedicated to the visual arts, both historic and contemporary", and welcomed 265,438 visitors in 2019.[2]


The Crawford is based in the centre of Cork in what used to be the Cork Customs House, built in 1724.[6][7] The Customs House became home to the Royal Cork Institution (RCI) in the 1830s,[8] and the RCI was involved in opening the Cork School of Design on the site in 1850.[9] In the early 1880s, the Cork School of Design was extended with funds and patronage from members of the Crawford family, who were local landowners and brewers.[10] For this reason the school was renamed as the Crawford School of Art in 1885.[10] In 1979, the art school transferred to another site, and the Crawford building used primarily as a gallery and museum. The museum buildings were substantially extended in 2000.[7]


Among the earliest acquisitions in the gallery's collection are casts of classical Greek and Roman statues by Antonio Canova. These were brought to Cork from the Vatican in 1818.[11] The Royal Cork Institution acquired these works from the Society of Fine Arts in Cork, who had been given the casts by the Prince Regent (later George IV of the United Kingdom).[12] He in turn had received them from Pope Pius VII, who had commissioned Antonio Canova to make a set of plasters from statues in the Vatican.

Given the gallery's association with the Cork School of Art (later known as the Crawford College of Art and Design), some items in the museum collection are from staff and students of the school. These include works by James Brenan (who was headmaster of the school from 1860 to 1889)[13] and students such as Henry Jones Thaddeus and William Gerard Barry.[14]

Other items in the collection include works by sculptors such as John Hogan and Eilis O'Connell,[15] stained-glass artists like Harry Clarke and Evie Hone,[16] painters including William Orpen (a student of James Brenan),[17] Jack B. Yeats, and Nano Reid,[14][18] as well as photographer Bob Carlos Clarke.[19]

The gallery also hosts education and outreach programmes,[20] and manages temporary and travelling exhibitions.[12][21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About the Permanent Collection". Official Website. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Popular Cork gallery breaks record for visitor numbers". Echo Live. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  3. ^ "Crawford Art Gallery Cork / Áiléar Crawford Chorcaigh". Official Website. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  4. ^ "Cork Profile – Artist and lecturer in CIT Crawford School of Art". Cork Independent. 15 September 2016. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  5. ^ "Crawford Art Gallery Service Level Agreement" (PDF). Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. April 2016. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  6. ^ "Cultural Institutions > Crawford Art Gallery". Citizens Information Board. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Crawford Gallery Extension, Cork". Architecture of Cork City. Archiseek. 2009. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Visual arts in Cork". Cork Past and Present. Cork City Libraries. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  9. ^ "History of the Gallery". Official Website. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  10. ^ a b "Beamish & Crawford brewers left their mark on Cork". Irish Examiner. 27 October 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Artists Bio – Antonio Canova" (PDF). Official Website. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  12. ^ a b "The OPW and the Crawford Art Gallery welcomes 'The Crawford at the Castle' Exhibition to Dublin Castle". Office of Public Works. 19 October 2016. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  13. ^ "Collection – Painting – James Brenan". Official Site. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  14. ^ a b "Permanent Collection – Painting". Official Site. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  15. ^ "Collection – Sculpture". Official Site. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  16. ^ "Collection – Stained Glass". Official Site. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  17. ^ "William Orpen's The Signing of Peace, Versailles, 1919". Royal Irish Academy. 21 April 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  18. ^ "A Corkman's philanthropy". The Irish Times. 7 July 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  19. ^ "Crawford Art Gallery first public gallery in Ireland to acquire Bob Carlos Clarke photographs". Irish Examiner. 4 August 2016. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  20. ^ "Education archive – The Art of Inclusion 13 September–26 October 2013". Official Site. 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  21. ^ "Exhibition showcases Cork's place in the Arts and Crafts movement". Irish Examiner. 16 November 2016. Retrieved 16 December 2016.

External links[edit]