The Little Museum of Dublin, sponsored by the Ireland Funds, will undertake exhibitions abroad beginning with New York in late 2015.
Museum director Trevor White said the Ireland Funds has agreed a two-year deal worth €100,000, ($133,000), which will give Ireland Funds the naming rights for the ground floor of the museum premises at St Stephen’s Green and allow it to host functions there.
“The Ireland Funds has agreed to underwrite our exhibition program for the next two years,” White told The Irish Times.
“We’re very giddy with excitement at the deal. Our goal is to create a long-term partnership with them.”
The Director said the museum will take some temporary exhibitions abroad beginning next winter with a 1916 Easter Rising exhibit at the American Irish Historical Society’s building on Fifth Avenue. Exhibitions in London and Paris will “hopefully” follow, he added.
Kieran McLoughlin, Chief Executive of the Ireland Funds, said this deal stems from a small sum recently granted to the museum to provide an “I Love Dublin” educational program.
“We’re very impressed with their innovative approach to making history more accessible to different audiences,” he said.
“It’s relevant, it’s accessible, it’s impactful and they have proved to be very entrepreneurial in their approach. It’s a good example of a not-for-profit that’s having an economic impact, too.”
The museum opened in 2011 to tell the story of Dublin in the 20th century. Visitor numbers rose last year to 51,873 from 24,197 in 2012. “It’s mostly US or UK visitors in the summer and domestic in the winter,” White said.
Exhibits included “U2: Made in Dublin,” “Your Huddled Masses: the Irish in America,” and “Darkest Dublin,” which detailed tenement living in the city, and an exhibition of Christy Brown’s archives (“My Left Foot” author), which it acquired with the National Library of Ireland earlier this year. It is also planning an extensive exhibit around the 1916 Easter Rising.
Founded in 1976, the Ireland Funds' various chapters around the world have raised more than $480 million for 3,000 organizations. It has distributed $20 million in the first 10 months of this year, McLoughlin said.