About Photo Museum Ireland

The National Centre for Contemporary Photography in Ireland

Photo Museum Ireland is the leading voice for photography in Ireland. We are dedicated to fostering a dynamic culture of photographic practice across a broad range of platforms.

Photo Museum Ireland Vision: enrich the lives of people by increasing the enjoyment of great photographic art - reflecting all of Irish life. 

Photo Museum Ireland Mission: Develop a dynamic photographic culture by supporting artists to present excellent art that actively engages wide & diverse audiences.

History: For over 40 years, we have featured work by the leading talents in contemporary photography. Established in 1978 by John Osman, Photo Museum Ireland has grown to become one of Ireland’s most loved arts organisations. In 1996 we moved to a purpose-designed award-winning new gallery, designed by architects O’Donnell + Tuomey.

Our programme of free exhibitions showcases the best of contemporary Irish and international photography. We foster artistic talent, encouraging discussion and critical debate around the exciting future of photography in Ireland. We encourage wider access through the development of artist engagement programmes across our in-house, outreach and online channels - bringing arts experiences to all. 

Our values are:
  - Supporting creativity
  - Commitment to artistic excellence
  - Inclusion and respect for diversity
   - Deep sustained engagement with communities
   - Ethics, integrity and transparency

Paying artists fairly:
Photo Museum Ireland
is committed to paying pay artists fairly. We pay artist fees for:

  • Solo exhibitions

  • Group exhibitions

  • Talks and workshops

  • Programme related expenses

Our Artists’ Remuneration policy is reviewed annually - it can be viewed here. In addition to the payment of fees, we provide sustained support for Irish photographers in the ongoing development of their work through the following:

  • Artists commissions,

  • Support for exhibition production,

  • Curatorial advice and advocacy,

  • Artist’s residency programme,

  • Subsidised access to our serviced B&W and digital production facilities,

  • Support for book publishing,

  • Touring exhibitions, networking and representation of photographers’ work nationally and internationally. Photo Museum Ireland is the Irish nominator for the leading international prizes in photography.

  • Support for upskilling and training

Free public talks and events encourage critical debate and develop an appreciation for photography in an engaging and accessible way. We are developing new online platforms to deepen and diversify opportunities for wider audiences to engage with photography including our Galleries Without Walls Collaborations Platform and our Reframing the Border programmes.

  • Our Student Council engages with emerging artists participating in our Graduate Development programme, curators and teachers in discussions based on our 3 artistic pillars: EHRD, Sustainability and the Canon of photography. These discussions in turn inform our curation and programming.

  • New education resources charting the history of photography in Ireland.

  • Dynamic new online platforms to showcase contemporary photography

Photography Culture:
We are active partners in a network of Irish and international platforms including our Reframing the Border programme and the EU Creative Europe ‘A Woman’s Work ’ platform. Building on our legacy as the leading institution dedicated to photography in Ireland means that we are ideally positioned to reflect on our rich photographic culture. In 2021/2022 our In Our Own Image season of exhibitions, publications and events will present the first comprehensive survey of the history of photography in Ireland. Our Photo Album of the Irish engagement projectworks with people across the island of Ireland and with the wider diaspora to research and record the social history of photography.

National Photography Collection:
We have initiated the National Photography Collection at Photo Museum Ireland. We are delighted that the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, is the sole patron of the collection. Rather than focussing on key pieces, this collection focuses on recording and highlighting artistic practices, and will develop into an invaluable educational resource for the future. Thanks to generous philanthropic support, we will commence the acquisition of artists prints in December 2021.

This significant development is a key part of our plans to become Ireland’s first permanent museum of photography - Photo Museum Ireland.

Strategic Development Plan - towards Photo Museum Ireland:
We plan to relocate to a larger, museum-standard building in the heart of Dublin. This important development will:

  • Showcase contemporary Irish photography to international museum standards.

  • Create a landmark tourist attraction - rethinking Dublin’s cultural map.

  • Develop and share the new National Photography Collection focused on artists practices.

  • Create an exciting, accessible, vibrant cultural resource in the heart of the city.


On 31 August 2021 - Photo Museum Ireland CLG became a Registered Charity - our registered charity number is: 20206237.