Enjoy an introduction to the important collection of 20th and 21st century artworks in our Permanent Collection by Anna O'Sullivan, Butler Gallery Director and Chief Curator. Learn more about the life and works of some of Ireland’s best-loved painters such as Jack B. Yeats, Paul Henry, Mainie Jellett, Louis le Brocquy and many more. Gain an insight into the main developments in Irish art of the 20th century and its links to the trends in mainland Europe, the United States and beyond. Learn about the skills and techniques, along with the joys and challenges of curating and installing a contemporary art exhibition. Anna will also introduce guests to the current contemporary art exhibition showing in our main gallery.

After your personal tour of the gallery, guests will join Blaise Smith in the Collection Gallery to have their portraits sketched. Blaise will engage guests in the process of creating a work of art and introduce them to the techniques and methods he uses to create a likeness of his subject along with a balanced and appealing composition. Guests may take the portraits home with them or have them framed and shipped at a later date by Butler Gallery.

After your portrait has been sketched, guests can explore our wonderful Medieval setting, learn more about our Georgian-era almshouse building or enjoy some seasonal and local refreshments in MUSE coffee+food onsite.

More about Anna O'Sullivan
Prior to joining the Butler Gallery in 2005, Anna spent over twenty years in New York where she enjoyed the position of Director of Robert Miller Gallery. Anna has worked with many internationally-renowned artists and artist estates during her career including Alice Neel, Eva Hesse, Lee Krasner, Patti Smith, Mary Reid Kelley & Patrick Kelley, Fischli & Weiss, Michael Snow, Bob and Roberta Smith, Hans Op de Beeck, Ian Burns, Louise Bourgeois, Werner Herzog, Tony O’Malley and many more. In 2021 Anna was the recipient of the Royal Hibernian Academy for her contribution to visual the arts in Ireland. Anna was the Commissioner and Curator of the Irish Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale with Richard Mosse as the artist representing Ireland In 2013.

More about Blaise Smith
Blaise is a member of the Royal Hibernian Academy and has been commissioned to paint many notable portraits of leading figures from Irish politics, arts and academia. He has exhibited widely in Ireland and abroad and has won many awards including the BP Award at the National Portrait Gallery, London and the Irish Arts Review Portrait Prize. Blaise currently teaches advanced oil painting techniques, drawing and composition at the Royal Irish Academy Drawing School where he is Vice Principal. He lives in County Kilkenny.

  • This experience is ideal for two guests. A maximum of six people may be accommodated but only two guests will have their portrait sketched.
  • Gallery tour: 1 hour/ Portrait sketch 1.5 hours
  • This experience is offered all-year-round but not during short periods when the main gallery is closed for exhibition installation.
  • This experience is offered during opening hours and in the evening when Butler Gallery is closed to the public.

For price and booking information, please contact Geni Murphy, Marketing Executive at [email protected] t. 00 353 (0)56 776 1106.

Butler Gallery Collection Gallery 4
The impressive new double height main exhibition space at Butler Gallery
Anna O'Sullivan, Butler Gallery Director and Chief Curator.jpeg
Blaise Smith Sketch

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Clock Icon Opening Hours

Monday: closed (except Bank Holidays when Sunday hours apply)
Thursday: Late Night 10.00–20.00
Sunday: 11.00–17.00
Last admission is 30 mins before closing times