Limerick City Gallery of Art is a handy option if you’re looking to soak up a bit of culture.
Especially on those dreaded rainy afternoons when you’re looking to get out and explore while also keeping your noggin nice and dry!
The Limerick City Gallery of Art is the largest contemporary art gallery in the Mid-Western region and it’s well worth visiting, as you’ll discover below!
Some quick need-to-knows about Limerick City Gallery of Art
Although a visit to the Limerick Art Gallery is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
Limerick City Gallery of Art is located in the heart of the city, close to the People’s Park, on Perry Square.
2. Opening hours
The gallery is open from Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and on Sunday from 12 am to 5 pm. The last admission is 15 minutes before closing so make sure to arrive at least one hour in advance (note: hours may change).
Admission to Limerick City Gallery of Art is completely free and you don’t need to book a ticket in advance.
4. The cafe
Inside the gallery, you will also find Zest Cafe, where you’ll find a menu packed with everything from artisan pastas and salads to soups, wraps, panini and more.
About Limerick City Gallery of Art
Limerick City Gallery of Art is the largest contemporary art gallery in the Mid-Western region. This gallery is run by Limerick City & County Council and every year it receives fundings from the Arts Council Ireland.
Inside you’ll find a number of temporary exhibitions displaying the works of both national and international contemporary artists.
Limerick City Gallery of Art is also one of the main venues for EVA International, also known as Ireland biennial – a large-scale contemporary art exhibition held every two years in the city of Limerick.
This gallery is also home to a permanent collection with 18th-21st century art pieces of famous Irish artists such as John Shinnors, Seán Keating, Paul Henry, Jack Yeats, Grace Henry Donald Teskey and Sir William Orpen.
The Limerick City Gallery of Art is located in a Romanesque Revival building dating back to 1906 and known as the Carnegie building.
This structure initially served as a library and it was only in 1936 officially became the location of the Limerick City Gallery of Art.
Things to look out for at Limerick City Gallery of Art
There’s plenty to have a nosey at around the Limerick Art Gallery. Here’s some suggestions to keep an eye out for:
1. The exhibitions
Along with the permanent collection, Limerick City Gallery of Art regularly hosts a number of temporary exhibitions displaying the works of both national and international artists.
Some of the previous exhibitions held here include, ‘The Loneliness of Being German’ by artists Thomas Brezing and Vera Klute, analysing the concept of identity, and ‘Skin Deep’ by visual artist Mary-Ruth Walsh, exploring skin as both a substance and a metaphor.
2. The Permanent Collection
The Permanent Collection at the Limerick City Gallery of Art consists of 831 historic and contemporary works of art from 456 different artists, tracing the development of Irish art in the last years.
The original intent of the gallery was to display the work of well-known artists of Irish birth and those who had worked in Ireland.
In addition to this, the original committee also decided that a part of the collection should be devoted to Limerick artists while another section was to be dedicated to watercolours, drawings and engravings.
Nowadays, the gallery is also home to The Michael O’Connor International Poster Collection, consisting of 2,800 posters of international historical and cultural significance.
3. The National Collection of Contemporary Drawings
The National Collection of Contemporary Drawings was added to the Permanent Collection in 1991 when a group of local artists and businesses from Limerick City decided to donate some of the proceeds of their efforts to the Limerick City Gallery of Art.
Since then, the National Collection of Contemporary Drawings has grown and it now includes 200 individual artworks which frequently attract other exhibitions specifically focused on contemporary drawings.
4. Regular events
The Limerick City Gallery of Art frequently organises events and programmes that are open to the public.
For instance, in 2021 they presented the ‘Opposite End project’ in which 2nd-year students from the Limerick Educate Together Secondary School and St Clement’s College were invited to explore the relationship between language and art.
In the same year, the ‘At Home On The Farm’ event was held. This was an online program that aimed to explore Mary Burke’s art.
This program included visual tours of the artist’s works, online galleries, interactive maps, recorded webinars and responsive pieces from local historians, poets and practitioners regarding her works.
Things to do near Limerick City Gallery of Art
One of the beauties of the Limerick Art Gallery is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best places to visit in Limerick.
Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from the Gallery (plus places to eat and where to grab a post-adventure pint!).
1. The People’s Park (2-minute walk)
The People’s Park is situated next to Limerick City Gallery of Art and it’s a gorgeous green space for a stroll. If you visit in the morning, you’ll be a short spot from several excellent Limerick breakfast spots!
2. St John’s Cathedral (15-minute walk)
St John’s Cathedral is located in the heart of Limerick City. It was designed by the architect Philip Charles Hardwick between 1855 and 1861. Another similarly impressive building is the nearby St Mary’s Cathedral.
3. The Milk Market (10-minute walk)
4. Lots more attractions in the city (5-minutes +)
FAQs about visiting the Limerick Art Gallery
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘How much is it in?’ to ‘Is it worth going to?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
Is Limerick City Gallery of Art worth visiting?
Yes – if you’re a fan of art, absolutely. Even if you’re not it’s worth dropping into when exploring the city for a nosey around.
Do you pay into Limerick City Gallery of Art?
No – the Limerick Art Gallery is free to enter and you don’t need to book a ticket ahead of your visit.
I was born in a quiet corner of a Gaeltacht on the Dingle Peninsula. Over the years, I’ve explored Ireland far and wide, from the wilds of West Clare to the shores of Sherkin. Particularly fond of heritage, history and hikes (and words beginning with ‘H’, apparently…).