Robert O’Byrne is a writer specialising in the fine and decorative arts, and an Apollo columnist. He blogs at

National Gallery of Ireland

The National Gallery of Ireland is finally to reopen

It’s been a long wait indeed, but the gallery’s refurbishment is nearing completion, and there’s a good line-up of temporary exhibitions, too

3 Jan 2017

Irishness is not the most interesting thing about Irish art

This new book on Irish art in the early modern period includes excellent texts by non-national authors that finally place Irish artists in a European context

22 Nov 2016

Remembering Anne Crookshank (1927–2016)

Irish art history owes a huge debt to the pioneering contribution of Anne Crookshank

24 Oct 2016

Save our museums!

Public collections need eloquent and passionate defenders if they are to thrive in today’s tough climate

23 Aug 2016

Irish ire over heritage ‘downgrade’

The term’s been dropped from the title of the government department in charge of culture

1 Jun 2016

Loss of Westport House signals wider problems for Ireland’s heritage

Historic property goes on sale after long battle for the Browne family

18 Feb 2016

Selling the collection to save the house: Russborough and Irish heritage

Ireland should be more concerned over the dispersal of its cultural heritage

18 May 2015

Shambles to success: Limerick’s year as debut Irish City of Culture

Mike Fitzpatrick salvaged the programme after its disastrous start, but what’s next for the city?

13 Jan 2015

12 Days: Highlights of 2015

Ireland’s outstanding 18th-century decorative arts have been long overlooked, but a new exhibition in Chicago looks set to change that

2 Jan 2015

Bantry House sale postponed

It was once nicknamed ‘The Wallace Collection of Ireland’: are efforts being made to save what remains of Bantry’s historic collection?

24 Sep 2014

From the Archives: September Apollo

The Warburg Institute in London was celebrated in the October 1970 issue of Apollo. But as custodianship of the organisation comes under scrutiny, its future hangs in the balance

9 Sep 2014

Sacred and profane: ‘Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Art’

Sanctified and worldly subjects come together in the Scottish National Gallery’s exhibition of Venetian art

22 Aug 2014

Irish Cabinet reshuffle puts two newcomers in charge of the arts

Can Heather Humphreys, the new Minister for Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, effectively steer her rather neglected department?

21 Jul 2014

A Tribute to Patrick Scott

Patrick Scott has died aged 93, on the eve of his retrospective exhibition at IMMA

14 Feb 2014

Birthday Gifts: The National Gallery of Ireland

The NGI is 150 years old. Its holdings have been enriched by several benefactors. If only the state were as generous

9 Feb 2014

New Year’s Revelations

Limerick’s first week as Ireland’s City of Culture has been a deliciously absurdist shambles as both the artistic director and CEO resign

8 Jan 2014

12 Days

The Bard Graduate Center’s marvellous exhibition ‘William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain’ arrives at the V&A this spring, and should not be missed

5 Jan 2014

A Sentimental Lot

The Irish are a sentimental people, and the sale of Alfred Grey’s clumsy painting ‘The Emigrants’ Farewell’ at Adam’s last week just proves it

11 Dec 2013

Up in Arms

The New-York Historical Society’s ‘The Armory Show at 100: Modern Art and Revolution’ actually reveals a measured side to the legendary show

18 Nov 2013

Scott’s Irish

Why the retrospectives to Eileen Gray (IMMA, Dublin) and William Scott (Ulster Museum, Belfast) shouldn’t dwell on their Irish roots

6 Nov 2013

Bronze Blunders

The standard of Ireland’s latest clutch of public statues ranges from poor to dreadful

9 Oct 2013