Millennium Wing 10th Anniversary

Millennium Wing, National Gallery of Ireland

2002 – 2012:  Tenth anniversary of the opening of the National Gallery’s Millennium Wing.

Next Saturday, 21 January 2012, marks the 10th anniversary of the opening of the National Gallery’s Millennium Wing which was designed by the London-based architectural firm Benson & Forsyth.

The Gallery pays tribute to the generosity of the many benefactors and sponsors from the private and corporate sector who joined with the Irish Government and the EU to see the project through to completion. The names of the benefactors are inscribed on a special plaque in the Millennium Wing.

Visitors to the Millennium Wing this Saturday and Sunday can look forward to a programme of extended tours of the collection, talks, exhibitions, and family events, including ‘Design a Birthday Card’ competition for children and teenagers. There will be 10% discount in the Gallery Shop all day Saturday. The Gallery Café, run by ‘With Taste’ is also offering 10% discount over the weekend.

Saturday 21 January

10am-4.30pm: Family Time in the Atrium Workspace (materials provided).

11am, 12pm, 1pm: Gallery Tours (meet at the Information Desk).

2pm: Tour of Turner’s Watercolours.

2pm: Caravaggio Art Documentary.

3pm: Family Programme: ‘Skating on Ice’, with Emma O’Toole (limited to 40 places).

10% discount in Gallery Shop all day Saturday.

Sunday 22 January

12pm – 4.30pm: Family Time in the Atrium Workspace (materials provided).

1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm: Gallery Tours (meet at the Information Desk).

3pm: Illustrated Talk: ‘Approaches to Painting in Watercolour’ with artist, Eamon Colman.


‘Turner: A Light in the Darkness’ – the Gallery’s pristine collection of watercolours by JMW Turner (until 31 January 2012).

‘Fables and Fairy Tales’ –showcasing the Gallery’s extensive collection of works on paper featuring illustrations of children’s fairytales by Richard Doyle, John Butler Yeats, Paul Henry and Harry Clarke (until 25 March 2012).

‘Masterpieces from the Collection’ - a stunning display of European and Irish works of art from the early Renaissance to the twentieth century (ongoing).

Also available to view in the Millennium Wing is Frederic William Burton’s ‘The Meeting on the Turret Stairs’ -one of the Gallery’s most popular watercolours (on view this Saturday 2-3pm, also Mondays & Wednesdays 11am-12noon).

Admission to the NGI and its collections is free.

Notes to Editors

  • The Millennium Wing was formally opened on 21 January 2002 by the then Minister for Arts, Síle de Valera TD. The total cost of the Millennium Project was €33m provided through a combination of funding from the private and corporate sector, the Irish Government and the ERDF.
  • Benson & Forsyth’s design of The Millennium Wing won awards by the RIAI (Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland) and RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects). The extension, which fronts onto Clare Street, added an additional 4,000sqm to the Gallery’s complex and provided suites for the permanent collection and exhibitions as well as research facilities, Centre for the Study of Irish Art and Yeats Archive), Gallery Shop and Café.  
  • Among the works of art acquired to commemorate the opening of the Millennium Wing in January 2002 were: Louis le Brocquy’s ‘A Family’ (1951), and the artist’s Aubusson tapestry, ‘The Triumph of Cúchulainn’, both of which are on view.
  • The inaugural exhibition in the Millennium Wing, ‘Monet, Renoir and the Impressionist Landscape’, attracted over 130,000 visitors.