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Midsummer afternoon event - Friday, 21 June 2024

Our recent visit to Dublin Castle on midsummer's day was a resounding success. 

13 members enjoyed a superb tour of the State Apartments, courtesy of the Office of Public Works. Our guide, Marie Curley, was already known to a couple of our members, and she delivered a lively, informative and enjoyable tour, touching on history, art, and gossipy stories related to former residents in the State Apartments! A highly recommended destination for Irish and international visitors alike.

We then strolled over to the Chester Beatty Library for an Afternoon tea with a Twist! at the Silk Road Cafe - an abundance of delicious food before our visit to the museum.

Fionnuala Croke, the Director of the Chester Beatty Library, hosted us in the Reading Room of the Library. She gave us a wonderful introduction to the life and work of Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, who was a world citizen before the invention of the term! Ireland is extremely fortunate to have been the recipient of the bequest of his private library and collections. 

Moya Carey, the curator of Islamic Collections, invited us to view several pages of an ancient manuscript of the Persian Book of Kings. The illustrations are magnificent, matched only by Moya's unbridled passion for her subject and her talent for storytelling and making the work highly accessible.

We then had the opportunity to see some of the East Asian Collection, with items described to us by Ai Fukunaga, the curator of that collection. Last but not least, we visited the Exhibition of the Hamilton Field Book of Flowers where Jill Unkel, the curator of Western Collections, gave us a lovely talk on the illustrations.

All in all a tremendous afternoon, with thanks to Catherine Day, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Chester Beatty Library for facilitating the visit.


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