Ulster Museum Exhibitions

Jan 01 2015 - Feb 28 2017
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Contact details


Ulster Museum Botanic Gardens,
T: 028 9044 0000
E: info@nmni.com

The Ulster Museum features many changing exhibitions throughout the year.

The Ulster Museum features many changing exhibitions throughout the year. From science and nature to art and history, there is something for everyone.

The Ulster Museum is open 10am - 5pm, Tuesday - Sunday. Closed Mondays (excluding NI Bank Holidays).

Current exhibitions are below:

The Age of Liberty13 June 2014 - 18 October 2015
Step into the wardrobe of the early 1900s as women were freed from their corset and unleashed into an age of liberty. Admire beautiful fabrics and elegant embellishments of exquisite gowns with an exhibition that showcases the rich and exotic opulence of a glamorous silhouette.

The Art of WomenTuesday 22 September - Tuesday 1 December 2015
A ten-week lecture series by Amanda Croft.

There is a rich history of painting, sculpture and applied art by women artists stemming back to the Renaissance, but for generations their work was marginalised, misattributed and maligned by the predominantly masculine art world that controlled the training, promotion and documentation of fine artists.

Making reference to artwork in the collections of the Ulster Museum, Queen's University, national and international galleries, this series of illustrated talks will explore the work and 'emergence' of women artists from Europe, Ireland and America over a broad time span - from Renaissance painters such as Sofonisba Anguissola, Lavinia Fontana and Artemesia Gentileschi to Rosalba Carriera and Angelica Kauffmann in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Impressionist painters, Cassatt, Gonzales and Morisot, and 'contemporary greats' such as Kathe Kollwitz, Georgia O'Keeffe, Lee Krasner, Cindy Sherman, Marina Abramovic and Louise Bourgeois amongst others.

New Art New NatureFriday 10 October 2014 - Sunday 10 January 2016
This exhibition, largely drawn from the Ulster Museum collection, looks at the role of nature in the work of Irish and International artists over the past seventy years.

The display begins with the Oceania textiles (1946) made by Matisse at the end of his career, when illness prevented him from painting. The 'cut-out' forms are designed to give a sense of the limitless freedom, lightness and space he had experienced when swimming in the South Seas in 1930. Matisse referred to 'the irrepressibility of nature' and this theme was taken up by William Scott in The Four Seasons Mural, (1959-62) for Altnagelvin Hospital, in which he translated the cyclical rhythms of the seasons into a highly accomplished abstract composition.

Nature as a potent, even overpowering, force is alluded to in Segura (2010), a video installation by Willie Doherty made in the Murcia region of southern Spain. The exhibition closes with two new acquisitions by Tyrone artist William McKeown (1962-2011). Untitled (2008) (Art Fund Grant 2014) is a luminous, abstract evocation of the sense of joyousness the artist experienced when looking at a light drenched early morning sky. This poetic response and sense of reverie is also present in Waiting for the Corncrake (2008) a series of delicate, atmospheric watercolours presented to the Ulster Museum by the artist's estate in memory of William McKeown's important contribution to Irish art.

Lavery's WorldFriday 28 February 2014 - Sunday 17 January 2016
Sir John Lavery (1856 - 1941) is best known as a society portraitist and for a remarkable series of formal portraits of politicians and prelates. This small exhibition looks instead at the private world of Sir John Lavery, and brings together portraits he painted of his wife and muse, Hazel, his daughter Eileen and step-daughter Alice. The exhibition sets the scene for these family portraits by including landscapes of places, such as Tangier in North Africa, which he visited many times.

Colin Davidson, Silent TestimonyFriday 5 June 2015 - Sunday 17 January 2016
An exhibition of portrait paintings by Colin Davidson (born 1968), reveals the stories of eighteen people who are connected by their individual experiences of loss through the Troubles - a turbulent 30-year period in Northern Ireland from the late 1960s onwards.

Internationally renowned for his series of large-scale portraits of actors, musicians, poets and writers, until now, the artist, has not responded overtly to what he witnessed or personally experienced during the Troubles. Silent Testimony is a powerful response which reflects on how the conflict has had, and continues to have, a profound impact on thousands of individuals - the injured, their families, the families of those who died and the wider community.

Framed: People & Place in Irish PhotographyFriday 19 June 2015 - Monday 30 May 2016
Photographs capture a moment in time in exact likeness, allowing us to see what people in the past saw - or what others wanted them to see. In doing so, they enable history to speak to us directly and with great clarity.

The Ulster Museum's collections of historic photographs date from the 1850s and comprise many thousands of images relating to the history, topography and personalities of Ireland. This exhibition concentrates on the twin themes of people and place to illustrate the range and depth of these collections and how the photographers they represent framed and shaped our view of the past.

Elements7 March 2014 - 28 February 2017
From Actinium
to Zirconium, it's time to get switched on to science with a journey
along the periodic table! Get set for an odyssey that will take you from
the rocks beneath your feet to the most distant and ancient reaches of
the Universe.

From microscopic viruses to vast galaxies - and you
too - all are made from elements. In this new exhibition, find out
where the elements were made, how they occur naturally, what they look
like, how we use them, and why they can be dangerous!

Royal Ulster Academy Reconstructs16 October 2015 - 3 January 2016
The Royal Ulster Academy of Arts annual exhibition opens to the public on Friday 16 October at the Ulster Museum. It promises to excite both visitors and critics alike, with many international artists showing for the first time at the academy. Notable works include a large 36k painting by Mark Francis, photography by Hannah Starkey, a contemporary drawing by Alice Maher and a rare horse sculpture by Basil Blackshaw. Academy members Joseph McWilliams, Elizabeth Magill, David Crone and Sharon Kelly present edgy contemporary styles which demonstrate high levels of excellence. Meanwhile, newly elected associate members also add a particular freshness to the exhibition with a dynamic cliff sculpture by Chris Wilson, a seductive painting by Frances Ryan and an exquisite abstract by Natalia Black.
There are a total of 309 works on display with 65 academy members, 21 invited artists, 9 invited graduates from the Belfast School of Art and 15 current students from the UK and Ireland as well as exhibiting artists from England, Poland, Sweden, Canada and America.   
This year promises to push the boundaries of innovation to an even greater degree, with epic paintings by Jennifer Trouton, Dermot Seymour, Joseph McWilliams, Neil Shawcross and Mick O'Dea. On the theme of reconstruction, Brendan Jamison's giant wool crane towers over visitors with its red aura of bedazzling colour. Meanwhile, Mavis Thompson combines reclaimed wood with vibrant colour to create a beautiful work entitled 'Tribute to Joan Trimble 1915-2000, pianist and composer.'

Highlights from the open submission include a life-size wooden dress by Christine Weatherup, a female head with exuberant splashes of colour by Kyle Barnes, a paper boat floating on a turquoise river by Mary McCaffrey and an atmospheric photo-realist house, dilapidated with two figures by Stephen Johnston. The standard of ceramic works has also peaked this year with a crackle-glaze vase protruding with vibrant bio-forms by Mark Revels and an exquisitely detailed earth-coloured work by Lynsay-Erin Mercer. 

The exhibition runs until Sunday 3 January 2016 with daily opening hours of 10am to 5pm from Tuesday to Sunday.