Site Alert Title

Alert Icon

Header Image

Promotional banner image showing the dates of the Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger exhibit in Ireland.


Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, is sending its acclaimed art collection to Ireland in 2018. The works will go to Dublin Castle and Skibbereen—diametric epicenters of the Great Famine (1845-52)— as well as Derry, for the exhibition Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger. The museum’s collection, the only one of its kind in the world, constitutes an incomparable direct link to the past of almost 6.5 million Irish and 40 million Irish-American people.

The death and dispersion of 2 million people, followed by a further 2 million emigrations to the end of the century, makes the exhibition an important gesture of cultural reconnection. The Irish diaspora defines Ireland’s place in the world today. The impact of the Famine is still with its descendants—both at home and abroad.

A photo of a sculpture entitled "The Victim" by artist Rowan Gillespie

The Victim

Rowan Gillespie

This major undertaking aims to strengthen the deep cultural connection between Ireland and its diaspora by showcasing the world’s largest collection of Great Hunger-related art never before exhibited on Irish soil. Please join with us in making this powerful artistic, cultural and educational endeavor a memorable one.

Visit the Exhibition

18 January - 16 March 2019

Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin
An tSeaneaglais (Glassworks)

37 Mórshráid Shéamais
Derry, BT48 7DF
Northern Ireland
t: +44 2871 264132

Open Tuesday to Saturday
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


The painting entitled "The Finishing Touch" by artist James Brenan

The Finishing Touch

James Brenan

Art and the Artists

Through the museum’s collection, layers of history are peeled back to uncover aspects of the story indecipherable by other means. Above all, the artworks stand proud as powerful, reflective and inspirational expressions of who the Irish once were, and how they became the people they are today—each piece chosen for its quality as art.

Fifty pieces of art have traveled from Quinnipiac University to Ireland to create this exhibition.

Gallery of Exhibition Art


Painting of an Irish countryside landscape entitled "Derrynane" by artist Jack B. Yeats


Jack B. Yeats


Schedule of Events

January 17, 2019

Official Launch of Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger.

Location:An tSeaneaglais at Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin.

January 27, 2019 @ 19:30

Concert: Mick Maloney and the Green Fields of America. 

Location: An Croí at Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin.

January 30, 2019 @ 13:00

Lecture-recital: Lauren O’Neill (UU)-“Traditional music in 19th century Ireland.” 

Location: An Croí at Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin.

January 30, 2019 @ 20:00

Concert: Declan O’Rourke & The Chronicles of the Famine

Location: An Croí at Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin.

February 4, 2019 @ 19:00

Lecture: Martin Dowling- "The Great Hunger and Irish Musical Life."

Location: An Croí at Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin.

February 5, 2019 @ 20:00

Concert: Benyounes String Quartet: including two compositions by Seán Doherty

Seán Doherty’s Fr McCarthy’s Lament and Prof. Boole’s Farewell were commissioned by University College Cork for the National Famine Commemoration in 2018. Each piece is based on a document from the Famine Years to mark the launch of Great Famine Online, a ground-breaking digital project which allows users access to interactive maps which facilitates research into the details of how the famine affected the population of Ireland.

Location: An Croí at Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin.

February 10, 2019 @ 19:30

Concert: Michael Rooney: Famine Suite (new commission) – performers Macalla Orchestra and UU Choir.

Location: St. Columb's Hall.

Educational Resources

The Hunger Times

Exploring the legacy of the Great Irish Famine and its relevance in a modern context, The Hunger Times is a short film aimed at children between the ages of 10 and 13, produced by Tile Media. This is the first time that a Famine story has been told on film through the eyes of children. Filmed on location in Ireland and the United States, the film was commissioned through an open competition by Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum (IGHM) at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, USA. It was funded by The Ireland Funds.

A man looks at a woman, starts video

Educational materials

Scoilnet logo

Scoilnet – The Department of Education and Skills portal for Irish education. Scoilnet has produced curriculum-related digital resources to support Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger.

Free presentations and worksheets related to the exhibition are available at Scoilnet’s website:

School visits

For more information on booking school tours, please call 02871 264132 or email

Support Us

Adopt an Artwork

Fifty pieces from Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum’s collection will be making the journey to Ireland for the Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger exhibition. To assist with professional fine art shipping costs, as well as any conservation needs, the museum has created an Adopt an Artwork program to connect prospective donors with specific and tangible needs. 

As part of the adoption process, participants will receive many benefits, including a print of the piece suitable for framing, an invitation to the collection send-off party, and a credit line on the gallery label giving recognition to the adoptive sponsor throughout the exhibition’s run in Ireland. 

Thank you to the following donors who have supported the exhibition by adopting atwork:

  • Rainbow’s End – Barry, Jaclyn and Bailey Bestle
  • Cottages, West of Ireland – Lynn Bushnell
  • Lest we Forget – O’Herron Family Foundation
  • Gorta – Barry, Jaclyn and Bailey Bestle
  • Irish Peasant Children – Doug James and Kay Mollick
  • The Irish Piper - George and Monica Dunn
  • A Young Man’s Troubles – Whyte’s
  • Connemara Woman – Patricia Vitanza 
  • 5/9 Black '47 - Martha Ahlquist
  • Famine Ship -Terrence Kenneally  
  • The Victim – The Ryan Family
  • Feeding Chickens – George Waldron
  • Scene in Connemara – Katie and Michael Regan
  • Returning from an Irish Funeral – Lev and Ivan Nussberg
  • The Irish Mother – Alan and Wendy Puzarne
  • The Farewell – Janet Corcoran and Francis John Dwyer III
  • Famine Funeral – Terrence Kenneally
  • The Vigil – Lev and Ivan Nussberg
  • Famine - Jean Husted and Becca Main  

Our Partners

Exhibition Venues

Dublin Castle logo
Office of Public Works logo

Erected in the early thirteenth century on the site of a Viking settlement, Dublin Castle served for centuries as the headquarters of English, and later British, administration in Ireland. In 1922, following Ireland’s independence, Dublin Castle was handed over to the new Irish government. It is now a major government complex and a key tourist attraction. Dublin Castle is administered by the Office of Public Works. The OPW's aim is to maintain a high standard in managing and conserving Ireland’s buildings and heritage. For more information visit

West Cork Arts Centre logo

West Cork Arts Centre was established in 1985 in Skibbereen, Co. Cork. It is a publicly funded arts facility that creates opportunities for the people of West Cork to have access to, and engagement with, local and global arts practice of excellence. It supports a multi-disciplinary arts programme with a focus on contemporary visual art . It is a resource and development agency, providing expertise and physical and human resources to assist artists, other arts organisations, groups and individuals to realise arts projects. It is committed to exploring new and innovative ways of combating the challenges facing audience development and participation, and the development of opportunities for artists, especially in relation to those located in rural communities. For more information visit

Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin logo

Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin is Derry’s primary Irish language, arts and cultural organization. Established in 1984, the organization is now one of the most dynamic, innovative and award-winning Irish language organizations anywhere in the country, delivering a range of cultural initiatives.

Our Sponsors

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade logo
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade second logo

The mission of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is to serve the Irish people, promote their values and advance their prosperity and interests abroad, and to provide the Government with the capabilities, analysis and influence to ensure that Ireland derives the maximum benefit from all areas of its external engagement. The Irish Government Emigrant Support Programme is focused on supporting cultural, community and heritage projects that foster a vibrant sense of Irish community and identity.

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht logo

The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht oversees the protection and presentation of Ireland’s heritage and cultural assets. Our goals are to promote and protect Ireland’s heritage and culture, to advance the use of the Irish language, and to support the sustainable development of the islands. The Department funds a number of State Bodies and Agencies with responsibilities relating to various aspects of the Department’s remit and works with these bodies and agencies to ensure a co-ordinated approach to fulfilling the Department’s mandate.

The Ireland Funds logo

The Ireland Funds is a global philanthropic network established in 1976 to promote and support peace, culture, education and community development throughout the island of Ireland, and Irish-related causes around the world. With chapters in 12 countries, The Ireland Funds has raised over $550 million for deserving causes in Ireland and beyond, benefiting more than 3,000 different organizations.

FIP Construction logo

For over a half century FIP Construction has earned the trust and confidence of our clients by providing the highest level of professional service to meet project challenges and to exceed performance expectations. Effective communication, creative solutions and core philosophy of living up to our commitments drive the skilled FIP project teams’ performance in the delivery of complex and sophisticated facilities for the healthcare, industrial and commercial marketplaces. The entire FIP organization focuses on our clients’ needs and the implementation of our proven process to create predictable results.

Morgan O'Driscoll logo

Morgan O’Driscoll is one of Ireland’s premier specialist art auction houses and is delighted to be associated with Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum’s exhibition in Ireland.

Kenny Gallery logo

Situated in the heart of Galway, Kennys was established in 1940 by Des & Maureen Kenny. Kennys has a renowned stock of books on Irish history, culture, literature and language, as well as a comprehensive selection of non-Irish material that covers all aspects of the human experience.

Merrion Hotel logo

The Merrion Hotel occupies one of the finest, most beautifully restored and best located Georgian buildings in Dublin City Center.

Cork County Council logo

County Cork is renowned for the quality and intrinsic value of its Arts and Heritage. Cork County Council through its Arts Office and its Heritage Unit, has for many years been offering a range of different services to ensure the promotion and enjoyment of the arts and protection of the people, places and cultural activities that make County Cork what it is today.


The Arts Council of Ireland is the Irish government agency for developing the arts. We work in partnership with artists, arts organisations, public policy makers and others to build a central place for the arts in Irish life.


The department has strategic responsibility for equality, anti-poverty, sports, arts and culture, languages, finding employment, historic environment, housing, regeneration, benefits and pensions, community and voluntary sector development, social legislation and child support.



Donegal County Council is the local authority covering the north western area in Ireland. Is é Comhairle Contae Dhún na nGall an t-údarás áitiúil i gContae Dhún na nGall in iarthuaisceart na tíre.



The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is the development and funding agency for the Arts in Northern Ireland.  The Arts council distributes public money and National Lottery funds to develop and deliver a wide variety of arts projects, events and initiatives across Northern Ireland.


An Ciste Infheistíochta Gaeilge invites applications through an open-call procedure from interested Irish language community groups seeking to advance capital applications for the ultimate development of sustainable capital projects that will enhance the delivery of services to the Irish language sector and assist in the creation, development and support of Irish language communities. 


BMG is the owner of the Andersonstown News, North Belfast News and South Belfast News newspapers and their websites.


As an Independent Statutory Authority the Port has a duty to develop, maintain and operate to the highest standards of efficiency, financial prudence, environmental awareness, safety and security. The Port is independent of Government and is self-financing. All financial surpluses are reinvested in the business for the benefit of future generations of stakeholders.


The Irish Society evolved into a self funding, cross-community charitable organisation many years ago and continues to work today for the benefit of the community. 

Media Partners

RTÉ logo

Each year, RTÉ supports many local and national arts events throughout Ireland through media partnerships and widespread cultural content on Radio 1, 2fm, lyric fm, Raidio na Gaeltachta, RTÉ One and Two, across RTÉ.ie, and via RTÉ Orchestras, Quartet and Choirs.

Cultural Collaborators

St. Patrick's Festival Dublin logo
West Cork Literary Festival logo
Skibbereen Heritage Centre logo
Skibbereen Arts Festival logo
2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage logo
Notre Dame Dublin logo
Irish Film Institute logo
International Literature Festival Dublin logo
A Taste of West Cork Food Festival logo
West Cork History Festival logo

Contact Us

Contact us

Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger is curated by:

Niamh O’Sullivan
Professor Emerita of Visual Culture (National College of Art and Design)
Curator of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum
+353 (0)876879348

Media inquiries should be directed to:

Niamh Mongey
Stillwater Communications
+353 (0)1 6770630

General inquiries should be directed to:

Ryan Mahoney
Executive Director
Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum
+001 203-582-6573

Stay connected

Follow us on social media and subscribe to our email newsletter to receive the latest updates on this upcoming exhibition: