Collins Barracks Museum: Decorative Arts & History

5 Things to See at Collins Barracks Museum

(so called National Decorative Arts and History Museum)


Address: Benburb Street, Arran Quay, Dublin 7, Ireland

Collins Barracks museum is not a standalone museum, both exists as a branch of the National Ireland Museum in

mans portrait on collins barracks museum

Dublin. The visit to this great tourist attraction will make you realize that there were more astonishing collections there than all other parts of the nation’s galleries. This particular location was founded on the 18th of September 1997 at the Collins Barracks. Your visit to the galleries at this museum should be one of the things to do in Dublin. As your guide, let us show you the 5 best things to see at the National Decorative Arts and History museum.

National Decorative Arts and History museum is one of the top 10 Free Things to do in Dublin.

Kids of all ages love this Dublin attraction- the museum entertains kids of all ages all year round and is one of the Top 10 Venues in Dublin for free events.


1. The 21st Century Irish Craft Exhibition at Collins Barracks museum

This is a current times exhibition that displays the very best Ireland has to offer regarding jewelry, silverware, accessories, ceramics, furniture, glass, and so many other decorative craft. Most of the decorative pieces purchased from the collective funds of the National Museum in 2004 are the items displayed as contemporary Irish Craft in this exhibition. I love the modern day designs and crafts shown in this presentation it makes a spectacular attraction. Some of my favorite pieces are the ‘Seed Necklace’ of 2008 by Inga, the 2013 ‘Warrior LadyBag’ by Una Burke and my best coffee pot ever, the 2011 Michael McCrory ‘Prickly Pear’ Teapot.

2. Contemporary Collection of Design and Craft at Collins Barracks museum

Collins Barracks museum  went all around Ireland and outside of its shores to acquire the best of Irish contemporary design and craft that have on display in this exhibition. The major part of pieces purchased was towards the end of the 19th century. My favorite out of all the items on display is the very uniquely designed Glass sculpture tagged “The Observatory” designed by Deirdre Feeney. If you have seen this exhibition, you will also agree with me completely. This particular piece makes the whole exhibition a must see attraction. You can come along with your kids for to enjoy this display at the museum.

3. Asgard Exhibition at Collins Barracks museum

This Dublin sight attraction gathers a lot of audience because it is a historical display that makes us relive the past of Ireland. Like all history lovers, I relished every part of this exhibit from the very first time I saw and will still do so for the umpteenth time. It unveils the hidden truths of the Asgard yacht, providing an exploration of the events that occurred during the Howth Gun Running and the volunteers of Ireland back in 1914. Important items in this collection are the construction of Asgard based within 1904-1905, Asgard and Home Rule Crisis within 1912 to 1914, the Howth Gun Running of 1914 and along with many other items like this on exhibition.


4. The Way We Wore Exhibition at Collins Barracks museum

For someone like me that missed out on all the aspects of the Irish culture because of my birth and developmental years were spent in a foreign land, this exhibition was very important to my family. I literally dragged my kids half way across the globe to get accustomed to their origin. We all enjoyed and learned a lot about the Irish culture from the Way We Wore Exhibition. It shows in details the history of the fashion in jewelry and clothing the Irish people wore in the past. These fabrics, jewelries, and clothing on display dated back to a period between 1760 and 1960. It is truly an amazing attraction.
All of the pieces were all manufactured from Irish based materials and designers, showcasing the best of Ireland’s fashion from the past. Dresses and other types of clothing were surprising not made of wool alone, as it will be preserved for all Irish clothes, there were garments made of cotton, silk, and linen among the old collection of Irish wears too. Seeing this exhibition should be one of the things to do in Dublin, if you want to learn more about the past Irish fashion and culture.

5. Irish Silver Exhibition at Collins Barracks museum

Oh! A lot of Silver on display! Is this an attraction or what? I was intrigued and captivated by every single piece on display. If you have an addiction to silver picking, gathering from across the globe, get  to this exhibition. You will relished every single moment of your experience. There is something about silver, or all the metals that amaze people, every original piece is uniquely beautiful and can never be outdated no matter how old. Even if the first owners where Adam and Eve! The Irish Silver Exhibition provides an awesome experience for silver lovers like you – it this actually one of the greatest collection of Irish Silver across the globe.

The pieces on display are old as the 17th century in age and also as current as recent times. The silver items shown in this exhibit were formulated within several themes like ceremonial silver worn for functions, domestic silver wares, and then there are also religiously used silver jewelry and wares for religious occasions of the past and present.

This exhibition should be a must see for you, whether you are a Silver Craze like us or not – mark this as tops on what to do in Dublin schedule.

Opening Hours

  • Tuesday10:00 - 17:00
  • Wednesday10:00 - 17:00
  • Thursday10:00 - 17:00
  • Friday10:00 - 17:00
  • Saturday10:00 - 17:00
  • Sunday14:00 - 17:00

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