Irish Georgian Society

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The vision of the Irish Georgian Society is to conserve, protect and foster an interest and a respect for Ireland’s architectural heritage and decorative arts.

Learn more about the IGS

COVID-19 Update for Irish Georgian Society - The City Assembly House and IGS offices are closed until further notice. Staff will be working remotely and can be contacted by email. Our current exhibition has been postponed and the bookshop is closed for trading. Check here for updates.

(Image courtesy of Nicola Woods)

€2.95 nationwide delivery on all IGS bookshop purchases! - Our customers can now avail of An Post's special €2.95 postal rate for posting book parcels nationwide within Ireland, throughout the lockdown period - bringing our books to your homes! You can now avail of this special rate by placing an order on Orders are being posted once a week, so please expect delays.

The Conserving Your Dublin Period House seminar series will no longer be taking place in the City Assembly House, and will instead be delivered online. If you have already registered you will have received an email with all relevant information. You can still book tickets for upcoming seminars here.

(Image: Darthmouth Square, Dublin)

CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE - Dublin Fragments: The Pearson Collection at the City Assembly House: This exhibition of architectural fragments and installations presents a dazzling display of Dublin craftsmanship. Today, most significant buildings are protected, thus it is (or should be) impossible to salvage such artefacts as these. Learn more.

Traditional Building Skills Register: Our TBS Register was established to ensure that those undertaking conservation work can identify craftspeople and professionals with good conservation expertise. Find accredited architects, skilled craftsmen and contractors based in Ireland on our free online database.

Access the register.

2019: Our Year in Review: 2019 was another bustling and exciting year for the Society, so as we wind down for the year, we wanted to share our highlights of the year with you, our members and supporters.

Read more about our year.

Our Updates


‘Vain Transitory Splendours’: The Irish country house and the art of John Nankivell


Strokestown House, Co. Roscommon

Elizabeth Bowen wrote in Bowen’s Court that Ireland is a country of ruins that “feature the landscape” whether “Lordly or humble, military or domestic, standing up with furious gauntness… or shelving weakly into the soil”. She saw in them an implicit truth: “a ruin stands for either error or failure, and in this country are accepted as part of life”. The desolation of country houses and their demesnes would, by then end of the 20th century, become an all too familiar part of the Irish scenery: miles of crumbling stone walls interrupted by the casual insertion of bungalows, abused entrances with toppled piers and twisted ironwork, bramble engulfed lodges,, deeply-rutted carriage drives leading aimlessly through a wasted park, amidst a few bereft resilient trees— looked upon forlornly by the gutted house, a still-proud block staring, blindly out over the scene “in fright and amazement at the wide light, lovely, unloving country, the unwilling bosom whereon it was set”.

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Exhibiting Art in Georgian Ireland: The Society of Artists's Exhibitions Recreated - Robert Crone


Robert Crone, A Landscape and Figures, 1770. Private Collection.

Robert Crone (1718-1779) was born in Dublin around 1740. He trained under Robert West in the George's Lane School in Dublin as well as being a pupil of Robert Hunter. In 1758, he was sent to Italy to study and he thrived in Rome, producing art and procuring prints for Dublin collectors and connoisseurs. He settled in London in 1767, where he regularly contributed to the Royal Academy. However, he only submitted a single piece to the Society of Artists of Ireland during the 1770 show, he exhibited A Landscape and Figures. Crone was apparently disfigured and suffered from epilepsy which affected his health and slowed his career, leading to a premature death in 1779.

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‘The Entire Spectrum of Ireland’s Post-Medieval Architecture’: 21 Years of the IGS Journal


On 15 May the City Assembly House was full to capacity for a twenty-first birthday party for Irish Architectural and Decorative Studies, the Journal of the Irish Georgian Society. Another exciting volume under the editorship of Prof. Finola O’Kane was launched by Prof. Andrew Carpenter, founding editor of Eighteenth Century Ireland and general editor of the five-volume Art and Architecture of Ireland published in 2014.

The Irish Georgian Society has been publishing research on Ireland’s art and architecture from close to its inception in 1958, initially through its Quarterly Bulletin. In the first volume of IA&DS, Desmond Guinness, co-founder of the Society, told the story of how the bulletin’s much-loved design was, rather serendipitously, arrived at:

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Exhibiting Art in Georgian Ireland: The Society of Artists's Exhibitions Recreated - Samuel Dixon


Samuel Dixon, Twelve Prints of ‘Foreign and Domestick’ Birds, Gouache on embossed paper in original black lacquer and gilded pearwood frames, Collection of IGS President.

Samuel Dixon was renowned for his embossed images of birds and fowers. He designed, produced and sold from his shop in Capel street from the late 1740s on. He created the works by impressing images on larges sheets of card paper using copper plates. This caused the details to stand in relief and the images were then hand coloured by Dixon's apprentices, most of whom would go to become successful artists and members of the Society of Artists, like Daniel O'Keefe and Gustavus Hamilton.

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IGS submission on Dalguise House, Monkstown, Co. Dublin


In a submission to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, the IGS raised its concerns about a proposal to redevelop the gardens and grounds of Dalguise House, a protected structure, due to the consequent irretrievable loss of one of the largest surviving nineteenth-century gardens in south County Dublin.Dalguise_Irish-Times.jpg#asset:13814

Dalguise House, a five bay two storey over basement suburban villa, is set within extensive gardens and is approached by an avenue along which lie two gate lodges. An accompanying conservation report notes that the grounds include “lawns and paddocks, a stable yard and former stable building, a large though disused walled garden, glasshouses/greenhouses and sundry out offices in a poor state of repair, a tennis court, and numerous areas of established tree and shrub planting”. Dalguise_Horan-Rainsford-Architects.jpg#asset:13815

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Building the Exhibition: 'Exhibiting Art in Georgian Ireland'


Curator Ruth Kenny looking at the completed exhibition

The Irish Georgian Society’s move to the City Assembly House in 2010, and their complete renovation of the building brought with it an exciting and unprecedented opportunity to recreate a seminal moment in the history of Irish art; the introduction of large-scale public art exhibitions. Celebrating the building’s original incarnation as the first purpose-built public art gallery in Britain and Ireland, an exhibition was planned which that would reassemble some of its the gallery’s earliest exhibits in the octagonal exhibition room in which they were first displayed (now known as the Knight of Glin Exhibition Room). Ruth-Kenny-paper-conservator.jpg#asset:13803

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