GALWAY CITY - MUSEUMS
Situated behind the famous Spanish Arch, Galway City Museum houses exhibitions which explore aspects of the history and heritage of Galway City, focusing on the medieval town, the Claddagh village & Galway, 1800-1950. Among the highlights on show is a rare 17th century altar piece, the new location of the statue of Pádraic Ó`Connaire and the Galway City hooker boat, named `Máirtín Oliver` by the general public. Other highlights include the Galway Civic Sword and Great Mace. The Civic Sword dates from the time of the Charter of King James I. The Great Mace, a massive piece of ornamental silverwork, was made in Dublin in 1710, and was presented to the town by Edward Eyre, Mayor of Galway, in 1712. The ground floor of the Museum houses a fascinating collection of artifacts dating back to Prehistoric and Medieval times, while the first and second floors host exhibitions reflecting the history, stories and experiences of the people of Galway. The galleries host a series of temporary exhibitions throughout the year. New exhibitions include prehistoric and medieval Galway, Padraic Ó`Conaire - the man and the statue, Lamb in Connemara (paintings by Charles Lamb), dancehall days, cinema in alway, the Arts in Galway, and modern languages (craft exhibition).
The magnificent Georgian style Galway Irish Crystal Heritage Center provides visitors with an excellent introduction to the rich history and culture of the West of Ireland. Here you can learn about the craft process at Galway Irish Crystal and see how Galway`s heritage has inspired crafts people. Guided tours of the center take place every 30 minutes, beginning with a short audio-visual presentation on Galway`s rich and vibrant culture. The tour continues with a visit to the workshops where you experience the mystery and magic of the craft of crystal making. Your journey through time continues as you enter the Hall of Tribes, where you see the symbols of Celtic Tribes and you can follow the history of the great Galway merchants and artists who gave the city its magnificent streetscapes and vibrant atmosphere. The Galway Hooker Exhibition highlights the heritage of Galway Bay and the traditional boats that sailed between the mainland and the islands - the Galway Hooker is the name of the traditional fishing vessel that was used. Galway`s famous Claddagh Village, renowned for its sea fishing and romance, and as the spot which provided the inspiration for the famous Claddagh Ring is also brought to life, with an excellent exhibition showing life as it was lived there traditionally. Then it`s time for a visit to the Crystal Workshop where the complete Irish Crystal range is displayed. Here you can select the perfect piece which will evoke fond memories of your visit to Galway.
High Street Art Gallery is located in the heart of old Galway, now known as the Latin Quarter. It is a Fine Art gallery and working studio by well known Irish artist Gordon Harris. Gordon is a self taught artist whose first love is figurative painting using oil paint. Observers and fellow artists have noted that they can feel the emotion emanating from the portraits that he paints. He looks beyond the persona to the character and can creatively portray the soul of the subjects that he paints. The gallery has a lovely atmosphere inside and has all the original sash windows and high ceilings when the building was built over a century ago. You will feel like you are taking in a bit of Galways history as well as enjoying the monthly exhibits that Gordon holds with other artists, this really is food for the soul.
The James Mitchell Geology Museum is often referred to as `Galway`s Hidden Museum`. It is entered by a staircase in the south-east corner of the Main Quadrangle of NUI, Galway. The museum is a treasure trove of geological artifacts with a wide variety of rocks, minerals and fossils on show. It provides a valuable research resource for students, researchers and anyone with an interest in geology. Its interior is in harmony with the 19th century atmosphere of the University`s main quadrangle. Many of its displays reflect its unique location adjacent to one of the most exciting areas of geology in Western Europe. Previously part of the Natural History Museum of NUI, Galway which has since been disbanded, and the museum is the last surviving part of that museum. It has undergone much needed restorations and refurbishments in recent years and is well worth a visit.