Exhibitions

Current and Past Exhibitions at Castletown are Listed Below

GRACE: PHOTOGRAPHS, 1955–1969

29 May – 30 September 2017
Gallery, Second Floor, Castletown House

Admission to the exhibition is included in your ticket to the house.

The OPW is delighted to present this wonderful exhibition curated by Guillaume Aral, Virginie Journiac and Leonardo Saviano. The 124 original photographs in this collection capture the fascinating transformation of Hollywood icon Grace Kelly into Princess Grace of Monaco. First shown at Galerie Ferrero in Nice last summer, it has been expanded to include additional vintage photographs covering the State visit to Ireland in 1961 of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco.

Starting at the height of her career, we first encounter Grace on the set of Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief, filmed on the Côte d’Azur in 1954, then see her pose for photographers at the Cannes Film Festival a few months after winning an Oscar for her performance in The Country Girl. Through the lens of Irish-born photographer Edward Quinn, we witness her first meeting with Prince Rainier at the Royal Palace in Monte Carlo, a photo opportunity arranged by Paris Match to which both parties had only reluctantly agreed. Photograph by photograph, their story unfolds: Prince Rainier’s voyage to the United States in December – ostensibly for medical reasons – where he would spend Christmas with the Kellys and propose to Grace, then Grace’s voyage to Monaco the following spring for her wedding. A kaleidoscope of intimate snapshots and press photographs goes far beyond the polished images associated with the fairy-tale story of the decade. Instead, it offers unique and unexpected glimpses of Grace’s world: the world of the court, of high society and celebrities, of public commitments and royal duties. And at the same time, the private world of family life, of personal encounters, of moments that capture her disarming allure and esprit.

In this lies the charm of the exhibition: carefully composed and researched – each photograph is accompanied by valuable background information – it flows easily like a vivid conversation or a pleasant walk through the years, drawing the viewer in from the first photograph to the last.

BIG BRICK EXHIBITION

July – September 2017
Farmyard

OPW is the lead design agency in Ireland designing and building public facilities and it is brilliant to collaborate with Michael Finan and Learn it to help train the next generation of Irish designers in a fun and inspirational environment. The Big Brick Exhibition showcases the very best construction toys and 3-Dimensional puzzles which are adored by children and adults alike. The exhibition is fun, exciting and family friendly, and will be sure to amaze!

Featuring rare, unique and highly collectable toys, the exhibition includes famous world landmarks such as the Taj Mahal, Tower Bridge and Sydney Opera House. Children will be astounded when they recognise movie characters such as the loveable Minion Bob, the intimidating Darth Maul villain from Star Wars, and everyone’s favourite Sponge – SpongeBob SquarePants.

RICHARD GORMAN: CASA

30 May – 31 October 2016

The OPW team was delighted to present Richard Gorman’s most recent work, CASA, at Castletown in 2016. The exhibition was on display throughout a number of the museum rooms in the main house, including in the Entrance Hall, the curved corridor behind the west colonnade, Lady Kildare’s Room and Lady Louisa’s Bedroom, and created a powerful synergy of vibrant modern art in a historical setting.

Richard’s work draws much of its power from the compositional tension between increasingly prominent and boldly simplified, irregular blocks of colour. He has exhibited widely and regularly since the mid-1980s, especially in Dublin at Kerlin Gallery, and also in London, Milan and Tokyo. Frequent and extended visits to Japan have notably influenced his working methods and materials, most memorably in a series of highly successful large-scale works executed on handmade washi paper that he produced in western Japan in 1999, 2003 and 2008.

He is represented in many collections, both public and private, in Europe, the UK, Ireland and Japan including New York Public Library, Deutsche Bank and The Ulster Museum. In 2014, Gorman became the first Irish artist to design a carré scarf for luxury fashion house Hermès. Gorman’s designs are used in the Hermès Autumn/Winter 2015 menswear collection, the photographs for which were shot in Castletown.

VANISHING IRELAND

12 March – 31 October 2016
Stable Wing

Since 2001, photographer James Fennell and historian Turtle Bunbury have crisscrossed their Irish homeland innumerable times, interviewing and photographing over 300 people aged between 70 and 108. This exhibition in the Stable Wing at Castletown features approximately forty of James Fennell’s images, offering a glimpse of people who are too often overlooked in the modern age. The subjects are primarily working-class Irish – blacksmiths, fishermen, farmers, dockers and nurses – as well as priests, nuns, teachers and representatives of disappearing professions like saddlers, thatchers, lacemakers and turf-cutters.

The project has included four critically acclaimed volumes of the ‘Vanishing Ireland’ series, described by the Irish Independent as ‘an invaluable record of times past’. Turtle has given numerous talks on the project, including New York, Paris, London, Chicago, Dublin, Cork and Monte Carlo. James Fennell’s photographs have also enjoyed a series of successful shows all across Ireland.