Office of Public Works announces the official opening of ‘Conversations at the Main Guard’ – An Exhibition of Portraits from the State Art Collection

21 July 16

The Office of Public Works is delighted to welcome visitors today (21 July 2016) to ‘Conversations at the Main Guard’ a selection of portraits from the State Art Collection in The Main Guard, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.

Conversations at the Main Guard is an exhibition that features a selection of portraits from the State Art Collection which is managed by the Office of Public Works (OPW).  The exhibition on temporary display in the Main Guard features 27 portraits by 23 artists.  The included artworks span one hundred years – from an Albert Power bust of James Stephens of 1914 to portraits created in 2016.  The first venue for this exhibition of portraits was Farmleigh Gallery where over 80 artworks were on display.  A different format of the exhibition is currently on display in The Casino, Marino which was changed to suit the scale of the individual interior.

The curator’s concept is the creation of an imaginary dialogue taking place between the people in the portraits when the Main Guard is closed to visitors.  The exhibition offers visitors an imagining of conversations that might take place between figures in Irish history.

We invite you to explore the exhibition, to interpret the portraits in your own way and to join in the conversation.


Notes to Editors:

Photography of the Launch will be available from John D Kelly Photography after the event by contacting Images from the exhibition are available by contacting

For more information, please contact OPW Press Office at 046 942 6517


Exhibition:           ‘CONVERSATIONS’

Gallery:               The Main Guard, Sarsfield Street, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary

Dates:                 Open until 21 August, 2016

Times:                 Tuesday to Sunday 9.00am – 5.00pm (last admission 4.15pm)

Contact:       or 052 612 7484


Exhibition:           ‘CONVERSATIONS’

Gallery:               The Casino, Cherrymount Crescent, Marino, Dublin 3

Dates:                 Open until 30th October 2016

Times:                 Daily 9.00am – 5.00pm (last admission 4.15pm)

Contact:     or 01 833 1618