About the Artists Database

The NIVAL Artists Database has been compiled in order to improve public access to the Library's extensive information files on 20th century and contemporary Irish artists.  These files contain exhibition catalogues, newspaper cuttings and ephemera on over 3,500 artists born or based in Ireland.

The Artists Database is a reference resource providing basic biographical and work details on each artist abstracted from the information contained in the hard copy files held in the Library.  It is important to realise that the records are a summary of the information held in each artist's file.  A visit to NIVAL is recommended to researchers seeking a comprehensive view of the actual files.

Although we have endeavoured to ensure the information is correct, it is inevitable, given the diverse sources of information, that some inaccuracies may occur.  Changes and updates are made on an ongoing basis and the Library welcomes suggestions, criticism, and donations of relevant material.

Filter Artists:

  • Reference Code:IE/NIVAL AR/1843
  • First Name: Michael
  • Last Name: O'Nuallain
  • Gender: Male
  • Date of Birth: 1928
  • Date of Death: 2016
  • Place of Birth: Dublin
  • Nationality: Irish
  • Area Of Practice:
    • Painting
  • Artwork Type Technique:
    • Painting
    • Drawings
    • Pastel
  • Abstract/Figurative: Abstract
  • Genre:
    • Portraiture
  • Represented By: Not Specified
  • Public Art: No
  • Size: 20+
  • Manuscript Material: No
  • Physical Location: Artist Files Collection
  • Public Collection:
    • National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin.
    • Other
    • University College Dublin.
    • University College Cork, Modern Art Collection.


1952 Helsinki Olympic Games Art Award.


1952 National College of Art and Design, Dublin.

Conservation Required

photocopy newspaper cuttings


O'Nuallain worked as a freelance artist and designer following his graduation from the National College of Art and Design. He then became a Secondary Schools Art Inspector with the Department of Education and remained there until his retirement in 1993. O'Nuallain was a prolific portrait painter. Some of his portrait commissions included: Brendan Behan which is located in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin and Siobháin McKenna located at University College Galway. His work is represented in numerous other public collections. File contains a catalogue from an exhibition held at Little Theatre, Brown Thomas, Dublin in 1955. File also contains newspaper clippings, images and correspondence between the artist and Noel Sheridan, Director of NCAD.