A new art museum and cultural heritage site has opened in Kilkenny this morning. Housed in Evans' Home on John's Quay, Butler Gallery has made the move there from its previous location at Kilkenny Castle. Part of a €6million redevelopment project of the historic site, it's described as a "significant new tourist offering for Ireland's Southeast".
Expecting to attract 76,000 visitors a year, the building is sure to be a hit with art aficionados as it contains seven collection galleries which will all be used to display the Butler Gallery Collection of 20th-century Irish art. Another large exhibition space will feature temporary exhibitions of contemporary art.
Perched on the monastic site of St John's Priory, the museum is surrounded by walled gardens which have undergone the royal treatment and have been repurposed to accommodate an outdoor sculpture garden, a children’s garden, a wildflower garden and an exposition of the site's archaeology - the perfect spot for a wander when the sun shines.
Foodies will also be kept most happy with the onsite café. Complete with outdoor seating and some of the best views of the grounds.
Two years in the making, Anna O’Sullivan, Butler Gallery Director, is confident that the new location is one of the finest exhibition spaces in Ireland. Speaking ahead of its opening tomorrow she commented:
"The historic site at Evans’ home has been re-imagined, with world-class facilities, as a space for contemporary art and learning.
This is one of the most significant additions to Ireland’s cultural and heritage portfolio of the past decade.
Apart from being a major free tourist attraction, for Ireland’s Southeast, the museum will become an important cultural hub for the people of Kilkenny."
Now open to the public, call in to the Butler Gallery art museum from Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm.