More than one hundred works come together to form the The Merrion Hotel’s magnificent collection of 19th & 20th century art. This summer, Dublin’s best address reveals the latest chapter of its story as a true art hotel by further crossing the boundary between hotel and gallery with the launch of an in-depth audio guide to twenty paintings in the collection.
Developed for the hotel by Acoustiguide, the world’s leading supplier of audio guides (clients include Le Louvre, Paris, The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, New York, Galleria Borghese, Rome) this investment represents a significant advancement of the art experience at The Merrion.
The guide was scripted over many months by Dr Debbie Lewer, Senior Lecturer in History of Art at the University of Glasgow, following extensive research into the artists and their paintings. The guide is narrated by Fionnuala Croke, Director of the world-renowned Chester Beatty Library, Dublin while Barry McGovern, one of Ireland’s finest actors, speaks on the history of the building. An introduction is given by Lochlann Quinn, Chairman of The Merrion.
Assembled over many years – and still evolving today – The Merrion’s collection is the largest and most significant private collection of 19th and 20th art in Ireland. Many of the same artists whose work graces the walls of The Merrion are also hung in the National Gallery of Ireland, just around the corner from the hotel.
The tour will guide guests through The Merrion’s hallways, drawing rooms and gardens, exploring twenty works in depth. Begin with Martin Mooney’s series of oil-on-linen paintings specially commissioned to fit decorative panels under a preservation order around the neo-classical staircase. Discover The Hour of Sleep by Jack B. Yeats, one of Ireland’s greatest 20th century painters, and finish in the garden, with Rowan Gillespie’s bronze of James Joyce, where the artist himself speaks about his work and its installation in the hotel.
The Merrion recommends finishing the tour in the drawing rooms for ‘Art Tea’ – The Merrion’s cerebral take on traditional afternoon tea which works as a witty confectionary homage to its paintings.
Audio Art Tours at The Merrion, Dublin launch from June 2015. Audio guides are complimentary to hotel guests. A Champagne tour is also available for Resident and Non-Resident Guests at a charge of €25 per person.