Every month, we invite people to see, experience and learn about Dublin’s cultural places through Culture Club.
Through this series of hosted talks and tours, we get to know lots of the wonderful venues in Dublin and the dedicated people who work there.
Below, Justyna Chmielewska, Education Officer at the Chester Beatty, took some time to tell us a little bit about what visitors to the museum might expect. Justyna loves exploring and researching various aspects of cultures and arts represented in the museum's collection and coordinating the Culture Club experience at the Chester Beatty.
If you’d like to explore the Chester Beatty and other cultural spaces across the city with Culture Club, you can book your free place here.
Tell us briefly what your organisation does and what our Culture Clubbers can expect to see/experience when they visit you?
The Chester Beatty takes you on a journey across continents, countries and peoples, as you discover treasures of rare quality and beauty from across the globe. This world-renowned, award-winning museum showcases rich and diverse exhibitions of miniature paintings, decorative arts, manuscripts, prints and drawings, from Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe – all donated to the Irish nation by American mining magnate and philanthropist, Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875-1968).
Visitors can enjoy thought-provoking exhibitions, an on-site gift shop, the Silk Road Café serving Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, and a broad variety of public activities for all ages and backgrounds.
The Chester Beatty can currently welcome individual visitors and small groups to exhibitions. However, due to the current health crisis, all our additional activities are held online at this time. (You can find out more by visiting our What’s On page.)
Where are you located?
The Chester Beatty is situated in the heart of the city centre, within the historic grounds of Dublin Castle. We are a two-minute walk from Dame Street (via the Palace Street Gate of the Castle) and close to Christchurch Cathedral (enter via the Ship Street Gate of the Castle).
The Chester Beatty is also well served by several public transport options. (Full location details here.)
What can we see or do now at the Chester Beatty?
Edo in Colour: Prints from Japan’s Metropolis is our current temporary exhibition.
The pulse of a city perfected on paper, explore the breath-taking world of the city now known as Tokyo. Featuring one hundred prints and printed books from the Chester Beatty’s renowned collections of Japanese art, Edo in Colour explores how woodblock prints shaped a city’s identity as they crafted its image.
In addition to our temporary exhibition, there are two permanent exhibition galleries in the Chester Beatty. Arts of the Book displays almost 600 objects from the museum’s collections, including books from the ancient world. Sacred Traditions exhibits the sacred texts, illuminated manuscripts and miniature paintings from the great religions and systems of belief represented in the collections – Christianity, Islam and Buddhism with smaller displays on Confucianism, Daoism, Sikhism and Jainism.
What’s upcoming at the Chester Beatty?
There is plenty to do and see at the Chester Beatty this September and October.
Part two of Edo in Colour will open on 4 September with a set of new prints. It will be accompanied by workshops and lectures such as Basara: David Bowie’s Kabuki Spirit, Purrfection in Print: Saitō Kiyoshi’s Feline Designs and lots more. Take a look at the What’s On page to see the full programme.
Tell us something we might not know about your work or collection.
Chester Beatty’s collection is primarily composed of fine manuscripts and early printed books. A lot of them are very detailed; therefore we recommend, where possible, our visitors take time looking at individual art work – the amazing details, stunning calligraphy and shimmering of gold and other metals might really surprise you. It might also be a good idea to bring a magnifying glass!
Do you offer any other services that might assist anyone with accessibility concerns?
Disabled parking is available within Dublin Castle grounds and Chester Beatty is fully accessible for wheelchair users. The Lecture Theatre is equipped with loop system for those hard of hearing. An introductory video on Sir Alfred Chester Beatty and his collection is subtitled Large print labels are available for all temporary exhibitions.
The Chester Beatty Museum app is free and downloadable from our website for Apple and Android devices.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us about the Chester Beatty?
Did you know that Chester Beatty is the only Irish museum to ever win the overall ‘European Museum of the Year’ award and that Lonely Planet once described us as ‘not just the best museum in Ireland but one of the best in Europe?’