Opening hours: 11am–5.45pm, Monday-Saturday, Sunday 1-pm
Curated by Gallery of Photography Ireland and the Office of Public Works, Dublin Castle,
In Our Own Image presents the first comprehensive historical and critical survey of photography
from across the island of Ireland. This landmark centenary exhibition charts how the medium has
both reflected and shaped Irish cultural identity, from the work of the earliest photographic
pioneers up to the emergence of a recognisably modern state. Throughout the period of intense
change that characterised Ireland in the late 19th and into the mid-20th century, we see how
photography served as a mirror for shifting experiences of what it meant to be Irish. More than
that, it also defined the way we saw ourselves, creating an image of life on the island of Ireland that
still forms part of our identity today.
In Our Own Image reveals the depth of our shared photographic heritage, viewed through
important works by key photographers held in leading archives, cultural institutions, museums, and
– It charts the contribution of early photographic pioneers such as Augusta Dillon, Mary Rosse, and
the Tenisons. Photography’s role as eyewitness to history is explored through the work of Robert
French, William Lawrence, A.R. Hogg and others.
– Photographs of life in the west of Ireland by J.M. Synge and surveys of heritage sites by Robert
Welch and Jane Shackleton highlight the contribution of photography to the Celtic Revival
– Photography’s role in constructing popular representations of Irishness is outlined through the
production of romantic images to feed the new tourist market.
– The use of photography as reportage during the War of Independence and the Irish Civil War
contrasts official viewpoints with the more nuanced perspectives of commercial and citizen
– The concluding section presents an overview of the key social and infrastructural developments
that defined the emergence of the modern Irish state framed through the vision of creative Irish
In Our Own Image: Photography in Ireland, 1839 to the Present is the first in a series of
exhibitions that will serve to establish the canon of photography in Ireland, from the earliest
pioneering works through to a survey of contemporary photography by Ireland’s many acclaimed
Supported by Dublin City Council Commemorative Committee, the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts,
Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Heritage Council of Ireland, the Office of Public
Works, Dublin Castle, RTÉ Supporting the Arts and Nerve Centre/Creative Centenaries NI. Presented by Gallery of
Photography Ireland and the Office of Public Works, Dublin Castle, in partnership with the National Library of
Ireland, the National Museum of Ireland, National Museums NI, the National Archives, PRONI, RTÉ Archives, UCD
Archives, Irish Folklore Commission, University College Cork, Creative Ireland and the Arts Council of Ireland.
Opening hours: 11am–5.45pm, Monday-Saturday, Sunday 1-pm, admission is free. Please note that due
to programmed events in The Printworks, the exhibition will be inaccessible on Dec 9 and Feb 1.
In Our Own Image: Photography in Ireland, 1839 to the Present has been made possible by
contributions from: the Estate of Fergus Bourke; Irish Jesuit Archive/Fr. Francis Browne SJ Collection;
Clare County Library; Davison and Associates; the estate of Dennis Dineen; the estate of Bill Doyle; ESB
Archives; Arthur Fields: Man on Bridge; J. Paul Getty Museum; the Estate of Helen Hooker O’Malley;
John Hinde Collection; Alen MacWeeney; Magnum Photos; New York Public Library; Parsons Family,
Birr Castle; Photo Album of the Irish; Queen’s University, Belfast; Royal Collection Trust, Royal Society
of Antiquaries of Ireland; Sean Sexton Collection; the Estate of Jane W. Shackleton; Tipperary Museum
of Hidden History; Trinity College, Dublin; Waterford City and County Archives.
Curated by Gallery of Photography Ireland with the Office of Public Works, Dublin Castle.
Gallery of Photography Ireland would like to thank Dr Myles Campbell, Research and Interpretation
Officer (Curator) for the Office of Public Works at Dublin Castle and Mary Heffernan, General Manager
at the Office of Public Works, National Historic Properties.