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)—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

8 March - 30 June 2018

Dublin Castle - The Coach House
Dame St
Dublin 2
t: +353 1 6458813

Open daily
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

20 July - 13 October 2018

Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre
Co. Cork
P81 VW98
t: +353 28 22090

Open Monday to Saturday
10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

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.

Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger—a collaborative act of cultural reconnection with Ireland’s past and living diaspora—will be a major cultural, educational and tourist event, worthy of local, national and international interest.

Gallery of Exhibition Art


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


Jack B. Yeats


Schedule of Events

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Public Opening
Coach House, Dublin Castle, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger opens to the public on 8th March, 2018. This exhibition features the historical and contemporary art of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, whose mission is to interpret the Famine visually. The art, by some of the most important Irish and Irish-American artists, represents and remembers the loss of life, the emigration, the economic devastation, and the erosions of language and culture that resulted from the Famine.

The conflicting need to remember, and the desperate need to forget, result in an extraordinarily moving exhibition, and is accompanies by a rich contextual programme of lectures, readings and performances.

Coming Home will be on view at Dublin Castle’s Coach House through June 30, 2018.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Artist’s Panel
Coach House, Dublin Castle, 5 p.m. and Chester Beatty Library, 6 p.m.
Tickets: €7

An artist’s panel featuring four of the artists represented in the exhibition will be held on 15th March, 2018 as part of Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival. An optional tour of the exhibition at Dublin Castle’s Coach House, led by Claire Puzarne, assistant director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, will begin at 5 p.m.

The panel will take place at 6 p.m., and will be held at the Chester Beatty Library. Artists Rowan Gillespie, Bobby Ballagh, Brian Maguire, and Geraldine O’Reilly will discuss their works (on view in Coming Home) with Sheila Pratschke, the Chair of Arts Council, moderating the discussion.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Famine Reflections - Laurence Geary
Poddle Room, Printworks Building, Dublin Castle, 11 a.m.
Tickets: free

A lecture by Laurence Geary, entitled “'The Living Were Out of Their Feeling': A Socio-Cultural Analysis of the Great Famine in Ireland," will be presented as part of the Famine Reflections Speaker Series. This presentation will take place at 11 a.m. on March 28th, 2018 in the Poddle Room of the Printworks Building at Dublin Castle. Laurence Geary is a researcher of the political and social history of nineteenth-century Ireland. His essay “‘Frightful and fearful is the havoc around me’: The Great Famine in Cork City and County” is featured in the “Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger” catalogue.

This event is sponsored by Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum and the Office of Public Works. Advanced registration is requested.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Famine Reflections - Ciarán Reilly
Gothic Room, Dublin Castle, 11 a.m.
Tickets: free

Ciarán Reilly will give a lecture entitled “Murder and the Great Famine” as part of the Famine Reflections Speaker Series. The lecture will be held in the Gothic Room at Dublin Castle at 11 a.m. on April 25th, 2018. Ciarán Reilly is one of Ireland’s leading researchers in the area of the Great Irish Famine and Ireland’s historic houses and estates. His essay “Feasting in a Time of Famine: Dublin Castle & the Great Hunger” is featured in the “Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger” catalogue.

This event is sponsored by Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum and the Office of Public Works. Advanced registration is requested.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Famine Reflections - Luke Gibbons
Bedford Hall, Dublin Castle, 11 a.m.
Tickets: free

Luke Gibbons will speak as part of the Famine Reflections Speaker Series on May 9th, 2018 at 11 a.m. The lecture will be held at Dublin Castle’s Bedford Hall. Luke Gibbons is Professor Emeritus of Irish Literary and Cultural Studies at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

This event is sponsored by Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum and the Office of Public Works. Advanced registration is requested.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Famine Reflections - Christine Kinealy
President's Room, Dublin Castle, 11 a.m.
Tickets: free

Christine Kinealy will give a lecture entitled “Frederick Douglass and Ireland — a transatlantic view of poverty and oppression” as part of the Famine Reflections Speaker Series. This lecture will take place at 11 a.m. on June 27th, 2018 and will be held in the President’s Room at Dublin Castle. Christine Kinealy is an Irish historian, author, and founding director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University.

This event is sponsored by Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum and the Office of Public Works. Advanced registration is requested.

Please check back often as more programs are posted.

Educational Resources

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.

Educational materials

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

School tours

Bookings for school tours are available at Dublin Castle. For more information, please email

Support Us

Support the exhibition

Make a donation

To support this major endeavor, please contact:

Ryan Mahoney
Executive Director

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  
  • 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 – Terrance Kenneally
  • The Vigil – Lev and Ivan Nussberg

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.

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
Royal Irish Academy logo
2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage 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:

Claire Puzarne
Assistant Director and Project Manager
Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger
Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum
+001 203-582-6574

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