The Butler Gallery has an extraordinary resource in its fine Collection, which is made up of work acquired through wise purchases, donations, and artworks that are on long-term loan to the gallery. The Kilkenny Art Gallery Society, as the Butler Gallery was then known, was established in 1943 and the Collection has continued to flourish over the decades. It is eclectic in so far as it reflects the broad character of art collecting in Ireland since the 1940s, embracing a variety of disciplines and genres from painting, drawing and printmaking, to sculpture, photography and video. The Butler Gallery Collection contains rarely seen works by Paul Henry, Louis le Brocquy, Mainie Jellett, Patrick Scott, Evie Hone and many more. It now includes The O'Malley Collection which consists of a broad selection of this important Irish artist’s works on paper, paintings and sculptural constructions.
Kilkenny has attracted the attention of artists from abroad throughout its history from the Flemish tapestry workers and stone masons to the artists who painted portraits and genre paintings for the Butler Family at Kilkenny Castle in the 17th century. In the twentieth and twenty-first century the Butler Gallery has hosted solo exhibitions of many renowned international artists, subsequently represented in this wide-ranging Collection which we are committed to preserving and safeguarding into the future.
View our Past Exhibitions.
In addition to viewing the works in the galleries, the Butler Gallery Collection can be accessed via our Patron Loan Scheme and enjoyed in various locations and businesses around Kilkenny.