THE IRISH INSTITUTION

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

This association was established in November, 1853, "for the promotion of Art in Ireland by the formation of a permanent exhibition in Dublin and eventually of an Irish National Gallery." It held annual exhibitions of works of the Old Masters obtained chiefly from private collections in Ireland, and it gradually acquired, by gift, pictures for the intended permanent Gallery. The first exhibition was opened in the Galleries of the Royal Hibernian Academy on the 2nd January, 1854, and was closed on the 31st May. The total number of visitors during that period was 12,190, and the receipts amounted to £105 13s. 2d. The second exhibition, in 1855, was also held in the Academy; but in 1856 the members of the Institution took a new house in Baggot Street, where its three following exhibitions were held. The sixth and last exhibition, in 1859, was in the Royal Hibernian Academy. The efforts of the Institution in its primary object of the establishment of a National Gallery were so far successful that in 1854 an Act of Parliament was passed for the establishment of a National Gallery in Dublin. When the undertaking became an accomplished fact by the erection of a building for the Gallery, commenced in 1859 and finished in January, 1864, the work of the Institution was done, and it dissolved in 1863.

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