L’allée au bois by Renoir
The first Impressionist painting to enter a public collection in Northern Ireland.
Spanning four museums, our collections have everything from dinosaurs to electric trams and fashion by Alexander McQueen. We develop and present inspirational collections that reflect the creativity, innovation, history, culture and people of Northern Ireland and beyond.Collections Online
National Museums NI’s art collections include fine and applied art (decorative art) of national and international significance. We hold more than 15,000 historical and contemporary artworks. This includes painting, sculpture, works on paper, glass, ceramics, silver and metalwork, jewellery, furniture, costume, and textiles.
The history collections cover the span of human history on the island of Ireland and reflect its place in the world. They open a window on themes as diverse as politics and conflict to innovation and achievement. The collections illustrate how people worked, travelled, socialised and participated a spectrum of cultural traditions. Taken together, they reflect the diversity of human experience from the cradle to the grave.
The natural sciences collections of National Museums NI hold more than half a million specimens from Northern Ireland and beyond. Mighty whales and tiny snails, flowers and fungi, fossils and meteorites—these are just a few of the diverse specimens that we hold. Many of the finest are on display. Others form a huge reference collection for scientists and other museum users to consult.
Northern Irish society is more divided than most other places, so the way in which our museums develop, display and interpret their collections will inevitably be the subject of much discussion and debate. We view our work in this area as an ongoing process, follow our journey here.