An oil painting of a city scene. On the quays, a stall is selling books, with people gathered around looking. A woman stands by the wall, holding a child. In the background there's a bridge, and buildings silhouetted on the pink-grey sky of dusk.
Walter Frederick Osborne (1859-1903), Dublin Streets: a Vendor of Books, 1889. Photograph © National Gallery of IrelandCredit

Online Talk

Online Art Appreciation Course: Cities and Suburbs

30 March 18.00 - 19.15

Online (via ZOOM)

Season ticket: €140 (20% discount for Friends; 10% discount for students and those aged over 65). 


Join art historian Dr Kathryn Milligan for an 8-week online art appreciation course exploring cities and suburbs

Course starts Tuesday 30 March 2021.


Artists have long been drawn to the rural and urban landscape, using their skills to explore ideas of power, identity, and ownership; to explore the natural and built environment; or to record significant political and social events. In addition to these weighty themes, artist’s depictions of their surroundings have and can also be reflective, relaxing, and restorative.

Join art historian Kathryn Milligan for this special course, which will take a broad view of artists’ depictions of “city and suburb”, encompassing paintings, drawings, prints, and archival collections drawn from across the National Gallery of Ireland’s holdings. Looking at Dutch, French, Italian and Irish art (and more besides), and ranging over the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries, this course will walk in the footsteps of the urban observer, follow the expansion of the city into its hinterlands, and take time to relax at suburban beauty spots.

This course will take place online via Zoom. Once you have booked your ticket, you will receive a confirmation e-mail. Link for zoom event will be sent the day before the first session. Each week, after each session, participants will receive a link to the recorded session, which will remain live for one week. This enables those who miss a session to catch up, and even allows for those who want to do the course in their own time.

Dates and time: Tuesdays, 6pm – 7.15pm. The dates of the course are: 30 March; 6 April; 13 April; 20 April; 27 April; 4 May; 11 May; 18 May. 

Price: €140 (20% discount for Friends; 10% discount for students and those aged over 65). Book tickets online here

Format: This course will take place online via ZOOM. For those of you unavailable for the live online lectures, all sessions will be recorded and sent to ticket-holders each week. The sessions will be available for one week after they take place. Participants will also be sent course notes and slide lists.

ZOOM details: Once you have booked your ticket, you will receive a confirmation e-mail. The link for the ZOOM event will be sent the day before the first session.


Week 1                 March 30             All Aboard: Approaching the City and Suburb              

Week 2                 April 6                  Bird’s Eye View: Panoramas and Maps

Week 3                 April 13                City Cries: Hawkers, Sellers and Street Markets

Week 4                 April 20                Let’s Celebrate: The City ‘En Fête’

Week 5                 April 27                Fire! Depicting Urban Calamities                

Week 6                 May 4                   Paper View: Tourist and Souvenir Views

Week 7                 May 11                 Sea Air: Escape to the Suburbs

Week 8                 May 18                 Raise a Glass: The Social City

About the tutor: Kathryn Milligan is an art historian specialising in nineteenth and twentieth century Irish art. A graduate of UCD (BA) and TCD (MPhil, PhD), following her PhD studies Kathryn was the inaugural ESB Fellow at the ESB Centre for the Study of Irish Art at the National Gallery of Ireland, and an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Art History and Cultural Policy, UCD. Her first monograph, Painting Dublin, 1886 - 1949: Visualising a changing city, was published by Manchester University Press in 2020.

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