Welcome to The National Irish Visual Arts Library

The National Irish Visual Arts Library (NIVAL) is a public research resource dedicated to the documentation of 20th and 21st century Irish visual art and design. 

NIVAL collects, stores and makes accessible for research an unparalleled collection of documentation about Irish art in all media.  NIVAL’s collection policy includes Irish visual art from the whole island as well as Irish art abroad and non-Irish artists working in Ireland.   Information is acquired on artists, designers, galleries, arts organisations and institutions, critics and other related subjects.  The collection contains documentary material in all formats including books, catalogues, videos, slides, artists’ papers and ephemera in print and digital format. 

NIVAL + NCAD: Archive(ist) Exhibition 2019

Please join us on Thursday 28 February, 2019

NCAD Gallery Foyer, Harry Clarke Building, NCAD, Dublin

2nd Year BA Graphic Design students were asked to consider the 'exhibition' in the form of a publication that explored chosen elements/aspects of the NIVAL archive. The curation (exploration, analysis, selecting, interpreting and editing) of the archive dictated the content and was reflected in the designed outcomes. Collaboration was a key aspect of the project, where students worked in teams and liaised with a number of external sources. 

At 17:00 Thursday 28 February 2019 there will be a drinks reception and exhibition of the publications in the NCAD Gallery Foyer, Harry Clarke Building at NCAD, Dublin to acknowledge the formal deposit of the works into the NIVAL collection. 

Perspectives on Irish Art Education: Artists in Conversation / Film Screenings

Monday 4th February: NIVAL welcomes Martin Gale for film screening and Q&A

In spring 2019, NCAD welcomes back graduates with long and successful careers as artists to reflect on their experiences at the College and after. Featuring screenings of short films made by Maebh O’Regan and on-stage discussions with leading Irish artists, these lunchtime events put a spotlight on the role of education in successful careers. Each talk will be accompanied by a table-top display of original and digitised material from the collections at NIVAL. These talks take place in the Harry Clarke Lecture Theatre at NCAD (100 Thomas Street, Dublin) are free and open to the public – no need to book.

4th Feb: Martin Gale / 4th March: John Behan / 25th March: Leo Higgins / 8th April: Chára Nagle

'Art and Reality: The Role of Visual Culture in the post-independent state'


This UCD symposium examined the role of visual culture in constructing and critiquing the state and national identity in the aftermath of political independence.

The symposium was organised by Dr Roisin Kennedy and took place in the UCD Humanities Institute on 19 October 2018 and was a joint initiative between the UCD School of Art History and Cultural Policy and NIVAL, the National Irish Visual Arts Library. The symposium was funded by UCD Decade of Centenaries. All 10 papers at the symposium were recorded for podcasting by Real Smart Media and are now available online. 

The Arts Council
National College of Art & Design

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