New photographic exhibition on The Big House opens at Museum of Country Life

Today is it hard to imagine a world without photographs. They decorate our homes, are on social network sites, in our school textbooks, in our newspapers, in family albums, and kept safe in our wallets and purses. It is hard to belief photography is only 160 years old.

In the new photographic exhibition, Power and Privilege: Photographs of the Big House in Ireland 1858 to 1922, which is now open in the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar, we see the world of the rich through their own eyes. Photography quickly became a popular leisure activity among wealthy men and women soon after it was invented.

Visit this exhibition and step back in time, and into the homes and lives of the first photographers. Put faces to the names of those that lived in the ‘big houses’ of the 19th century. See what they wore, their carriages and motor cars, how they spent their leisure time. Meet the many house servants, farm workers, and tenants that kept up the landed estates and ‘big houses’.

Power and Privilege is a selection of photographs drawn from the National Photographic Archive’s collection of 630,000 images. This is the first time these photographs will be exhibited in the west of Ireland. The exhibition will run until April 2012 and admission is free. The exhibition is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm and on Sunday from 2pm to 5pm. The museum is closed on Mondays including bank holidays.


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