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The Art

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Ulster Museum (National Museums Northern Ireland), Belfast



1821; 1961


1934 - 2010


Belfast, Northern Ireland


Museum / Recipient


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The Museum was founded as the Belfast Natural History Society in 1821 and began exhibiting in 1833. It moved to its present location in 1929, a building designed by James Cumming Wynne and was named Ulster Museum in 1961. In 1962 the museum completed a modern extension in the brutalist style by architect, Francis Pym. In 2009 the Museum re-opened once again after another major redevelopment. The museum holds a wealth of works from 20th century British, European and American artists. It is the largest collection in Northern Ireland and compares to other UK national museums, with works by the influential Karel Appel and Jean Dubuffet. Of particular interest is a small but important collection of American colour field paintings, including works by Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland. The 1960s collection includes work by Patrick Caulfield, Francis Bacon and Bridget Riley. The new galleries display a varied programme of temporary exhibitions alongside regularly changing displays of the permanent collection. It won the Art Fund Museum of the Year award in 2010.





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