Chester Beatty at Expo

An excerpt of the evidences of Prophecy Shavahid al Nubuvva by Thanai 2.
An excerpt of the evidences of Prophecy Shavahid al Nubuvva by Thanai 2.

Described by Lonely Planet as ‘not just the best museum in Ireland but one of the best in Europe’, the Chester Beatty is the pre-eminent Irish museum promoting the appreciation and understanding of world cultures with holdings of manuscripts, rare books, and other treasures from the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and Asia.

Chester Beatty will provide displays and workshops at the pavilion and will contribute to a panel discussion in collaboration with the Italian Pavilion to celebrate International Women’s Day at Expo.

Bespoke piece inspired by the Chester Beatty Collections

Chester Beatty is delighted to collaborate with Irish designer Ally Nolan to create a bespoke piece for the Ireland pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. Ally has drawn inspiration from the Chester Beatty’s collections with a specific focus on Islamic patterns that are combined with Irish motifs – as a ‘nod’ to Ireland's rich history of manuscript making and this creative connection we share with other cultures.

Workshops at the Irish Pavilion Expo Dubai

As part of Chester Beatty’s collaboration with the Irish Pavilion programme at Expo Dubai, it will offer bespoke workshops with Ally Nolan and the Dubai Design Academy. These workshops combine fashion and technology, using patterns found in the Chester Beatty Collections.

Ally Nolan Bio

In 2016, Ally Nolan graduated with a joint major in Fashion Design and Art History from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. She subsequently completed a Master's degree in Irish Art History at Trinity College. Ally's work combines new technology with handcraft techniques. In 2017, Ally was selected to participate in the first design and technology incubator at the Festival of Curiosity, Ireland's Art and Science Festival. She won the overall Future Fashion Award. In 2018, Ally was nominated for a Maker in Residency with the Chester Beatty, where she created and implemented a series of workshops for teens, adults, and art facilitators inspired by the museum's collection.

Letter from Fionnuala Croke, Director of the Chester Beatty

Fionnuala Croke, Director of the Chester Beatty
Fionnuala Croke, Director of the Chester Beatty

The Chester Beatty in Dublin is a vibrant Irish national cultural institution, with holdings of manuscripts, rare books, and other artefacts from across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. This material once formed the private collection of Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1985–1968), mining engineer, businessman, and one of the greatest collectors of the twentieth century.

Born in the USA, and based for much of his career in the UK, Beatty moved to Ireland in 1950 and in 1955 he opened a purpose-built library to house his collection in a suburb of Dublin. In 1957, Beatty became the first honorary citizen of Ireland, and when he died in 1968, he was the first private citizen to be awarded state funeral in Ireland. His will provided for the continuance of his library/museum as a public charitable trust, supported by the Irish State.

Today the Chester Beatty is situated in the grounds of Dublin Castle. Now nestled in the centre of the city, this move brought Beatty’s exquisite collections closer to the people of Ireland and has made them more accessible for the many visitors to this country.

With the support of the Irish people, and the enduring affection of the Irish people, the museum continues to grow in profile and popularity, welcoming over 370,000 visitors a year.

As we strive to enable the Chester Beatty collections to achieve their full potential, it is our enduring responsibility to care for them, to understand them better through rigorous research and scholarship, and to share them with present and future generations. We have an active programme of digitising the collections and making them available online for a global audience on the museum’s website.

We are delighted to collaborate with and support the work of the Irish pavilion at Expo2020. The Chester Beatty’s vision is to connect collections, cultures and communities. Our workshop and display at Expo will seek to bring these elements together.

Visitors can explore the Chester Beatty at and Chester Beatty Collections.

logos for Chester Beatty, DFA and Expo 2020
Chester Beatty, Department of Foreign Affairs and Ireland at Expo 2020 logos.