Contemporary Collection of  Design and Craft.

About the collection

The Contemporary Collection of Design and Craft (CCDC) was established in 2003 to collect contemporary high quality works from Ireland’s leading designer-makers for the National Museum of Ireland (NMI) to preserve tomorrow’s antiques for future generations.


The collection is jointly funded by the National Museum of Ireland (NMI) and the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI). Work is selected by NMI curators with advice from DCCoI so as to complement and enhance the NMI’s existing collection of Ireland’s portable heritage.



In 2003 discussions began between NMI and DCCoI regarding the possibility of establishing an annual purchase fund for the acquisition of Irish contemporary applied arts/crafts. The following year the first purchases were made, and although jointly acquired will remain under the ownership and care of the Art and Industrial Division of the National Museum. This is the decorative arts and history division of the institution, which dates to its foundation in the late nineteenth century. The Department of Foreign Affairs and DCCoI also had an acquisition arrangement in recent years. This fund is quite different from the National Museum’s as it was set up to showcase Irish applied arts in Irish embassies throughout the world.


The Decorative Arts collection of the National Museum of Ireland (NMI) has since its establishment, been divided into different categories according to medium, e.g. ceramics, furniture/wood-turning/musical instruments, glass, jewellery/accessories and metalwork/silver. This division of different collection types is in operation in most national museums of decorative/applied arts internationally, and the NMI is no exception. Ireland has a rich history in all of these collection areas, especially during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as is evident in the exhibits at the National Museum of Ireland, Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, Dublin.

Such a joint purchase fund is of great benefit to the artists whose work is acquired, in addition to the resulting status associated with inclusion in the collection of the National Museum.

Dr. Audrey Whitty, Ph.D.
Keeper, Art and Industry Division (Decorative Arts and History), National Museum of Ireland


The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland               the National Museum of Ireland