Hunt Museum
Review of Limerick Art Gallery: Collection, Exhibitions, Artists Shown, Opening Hours.

Irish Art Exhibitions

Breton Girl (Roderic O'Conor)

For a list of the most valuable
works of art to be sold at auction
by Sotheby's and Christie's, see:
Top 10 Most Expensive Paintings
Top 20 Most Expensive Paintings

For a list of the top priced
works by Irish artists, see:
Most Expensive Irish Paintings.

Hunt Museum Limerick

Based in the old Limerick Customs House by the River Shannon, the Hunt Museum and art collection houses the works of art assembled by the Hunt family and donated to the museum. One of the largest private collections of antiquities and visual art in Ireland, dating from the Neolithic to the 20th Century, the collection includes approximately 2,000 different artworks from Ireland and overseas.

Hunt Collection

This extraordinarily diverse collection of antiquities, fine and decorative art includes: artifacts from Ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt and the Olmec civilisation; rare Irish archaeological antiquities such as Stone Age flints, a Bronze Age cauldron, and rare examples of early Christian art like the Antrim Cross (a bronze and enamel cross from the ninth century). Renaissance art is represented (inter alia) by a bronze horse sculpture from a design by the world famous artist and sculptor Leonardo da Vinci. An exceptional element of the collection is the medieval artworks, featuring statues in stone and wood, painted panels, jewellery, crucifixes, enamels and ceramics. There are also striking examples of silver, glass and ceramics in the eighteenth and nineteenth century decorative arts collection.


For reviews of the best museums
of arts in Ireland, see:
- National Gallery of Ireland
- National Museum of Ireland
- Irish Museum of Modern Art
- Hugh Lane Gallery Dublin
- Chester Beatty Library
- Trinity College Dublin Library
- National Self-Portrait Collection
- Ulster Museum.

See: Art Museums in Europe.


Artists represented in the collection include Pablo Picasso, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Roderic O'Conor, Jack B. Yeats, Robert Fagan and Henry Moore.

Brief History

Assembled from the 1930s and 1940s onwards, the Hunt Collection moved with the family to Lough Gur in Co. Limerick and thence to Howth, County Dublin, until Dr Edward Walsh, President of the National Institute of Higher Education (now the University of Limerick) offered a permanent home at the Institute. As a result, the Hunt Museum at Plassey opened in 1978. Until 1997, the collection remained at the University, whereupon it moved to its present location in the restored 18th century Customs House in Limerick city.



In late 2003, the Hunt Museum found itself caught up in a baseless controversy involving allegations by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Vienna, that certain unnamed artworks in the Hunt collection were looted by the Nazis during the Second World War. Lengthy subsequent investigations involving an Irish Supreme Court Judge, the Irish Department of the Arts, the Hunt Museum Evaluation Group, the Royal Irish Academy, and a US expert concluded the claims were unprofessional and without merit, confusing an unreliable European art dealer with an eminent European art-collector.

The Hunt Museum Visiting Exhibition Gallery

In addition to its fabulous permanent collection, the Hunt Museum also hosts a number of temporary art shows in its Visiting Exhibition Gallery - a purpose-built display area of 1400 sq ft. Since opening its doors in 1997, it has featured a wide variety of exhibitions including an annual show of Irish art (in May) by students from Limerick School of Art and Design. Artists who have exhibited at the Hunt Museum Visiting Exhibition Gallery include: Michael Coleman, Charles Harper, Coilin Murray, Thomas Ryan, John Shinnors, Gavin Hogg, Gail Johnstone and Bernie Masterson.

For more information about the visual arts on display, temporary art shows or general information about one of Limerick's brightest cultural resources, please contact:

The Hunt Museum
Rutland Street
Phone: (+353) 061-312833

Art Galleries Around the World

For the top venues, see: Best Art Museums.

• For details of other Munster fine art exhibitions and collections, see: Irish Art Galleries and Museums.
• For details of the world's best galleries, see: Homepage.
• For more about cultural events in Limerick, see: Irish Art Guide.

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