Hunt Museum ( Irish : Iarsmalann Hunt ) är en museum i staden Limerick , Irland . Hunt Museum har en personlig samling donerats av Hunt familjen , var det ursprungligen beläget i University of Limerick , innan den flyttades till sin nuvarande plats i georgiska Custom House 1997. Custom House ligger på Rutland Street på stranden av den floden Shannon vid sammanflödet med den Abbey River . Bland museer samlingen är verk av kända konstnärer och designers som Pablo Picasso , Jack B. Yeats , och Sybil Connolly samt distinkta historiska poster såsom O “Dea Mitre och Crozier.


As an antique dealer and adviser to collectors, John and Gertrude Hunt built a thriving business and also began to acquire pieces that reflected their own interests and curiosity rather than for commercial ändamål.Under the latter part of John’s life, they became increasingly aware of the extent of their collection and wanted it to remain intact. They began searching for a permanent home for their collection. Fortunately met Professor Patrick Doran of the National Institute of Higher Education (now the University of Limerick) and Dr. Edward Walsh, the Institute’s president, who agreed to house a significant part of the collection on a temporary basis. Hunt Museum opened in 1978 in a showroom with display, designed by architect Arthur Gibney.

During this period the Irish Government had declined the offer of the Hunt collection, so the requirement to find a suitable home owners to take responsibility for the artifacts became more acute. Hunt Museum Trust was founded in 1974 to keep the collection and property at Craggaunowen (a 16th-century four-storey tower house, typical of late medieval Ireland, purchased and restored by John and Gertrude Hunt) in trust on behalf of the people of Ireland. The trust established Hunt Museum Ltd, whose sole purpose was to establish a permanent home for the museum. Under the direction of Dr. Tony Ryan, the company provided the necessary energy to create the museum as we see it today. A public private partnership with the University of Limerick, Shannon Development, Limerick Corporation and the Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, [2] connected to local business interests secured the historic 18th century former customs house in the city of Limerick with the means to restore and renovate building to international museum standards. The museum was inaugurated by Prime Minister John Bruton 14 February 1997. It was a moment of great celebration for everyone involved, but unfortunately neither John and Gertrude Hunt had lived to realize his dream. The museum stands as a monument to their enthusiasm, curiosity and generosity.

Custom House

Custom House is considered the most prominent 18th century building in Limerick and it is also quite unusual in comparison with other Georgian buildings in the city by the outside of the building is limestone instead of red brick. It is an elegant Palladian-style building designed by Italian architect, Davis Ducart in 1765. Both the “Captain’s Room” and “red stairs” are elegant examples of Georgian architecture in the building and are evidence of the optimism that the city experienced during the period of development and expansion in the late 18th century. Ducart also designed several other Palladian style buildings in Ireland, including Castle Cox Co. Kilkenny and Florence Court in Co. Fermanagh. Limerick Custom House was the administrative center of the Revenue Commissioners (including customs) in Limerick and it was also the home of the Customs Collector in the eighteenth century. In the 1840s, with the introduction of a new postal system a Penny Post Office was opened in the Custom House.

The Office of Public Works (OPW) undertook major restoration and renovation of the building to complete it in 1996. Custom House opened as the Hunt Museum, 14 February 1997. anniversary of the opening of the Hunt Museum celebrated annually as the “Open Day” with free admission, call , tours, seminars and other activities.


Hunt Museum holds about 2,500 different artifacts, both from Ireland and abroad. The oldest parts are from the Stone Age Ireland and ancient Egypt .The collection contains Antrim Cross (early 9th century cast bronze and enamel cross), dresses by Irish designer Sybil Connolly, drawings by Picasso and a bronze horse once thought to be a design by Leonardo da Vinci for a large monument, this disproved 2009. [3] part of the Hunt collection is also displayed at the nearby Craggaunowen in County Clare, which also greatly contributed to John and Gertrude Hunt. [4]

religious artifacts

John Hunt were very interested in early Christian art and artifacts, and he gathered them extensively. In his collection was hugely important medieval Christians pieces Antrim Cross, Cashel Bell and Hohenzollern Crucifix. And so the Hunt family’s private collection consisted of a large number of religious objects from rosaries to the statues of varying sizes from not only Ireland but from all over Europe. The museums Treasury Room “can accommodate a large number of these items and among the artifacts in this room are beautiful Arthur Cross and Arthur beaker.

prehistoric Ireland

Work in progress


Work in progress

John Hunt Library

Work in progress

Temporary exhibition Gallery

Included in the plan to house hunting collection in the customs house was also an idea to a purpose built contemporary gallery space. It was completed as part of the renovation of the Custom House and is regularly used for temporary exhibitions accompanying the permanent collection.


In December 2003, the Simon Wiesenthal Center argued in a letter to President Mary McAleese to the museum collection contained objects looted by the Nazis during World War II, even if the letter does not refer to any specific item in the collection. [5] [6] [7] The museum has denied claims. [8]

An inquiry headed by former Supreme Court judge Donal Barrington establishment of the museum, but its members resigned in February 2005, says that the museum funding made an independent investigation impossible, and ask for a more appropriate evaluation created. The Department of art available then € 150,000 in funding for a second investigation, led by former civil servant Seán Cromien, under the auspices of the Royal Irish Academy. The second investigation was due to present an interim report to the Royal Irish Academy in November 2005. This was submitted in February 2006. In October 2005, the museum has published a catalog of its exhibitions on the Internet, which provides complete information about all objects in its collection. In June 2006, the investigation, the final report, published on the Academy’s website.

Also in June 2006, a one-day conference was held on the theme of contested cultural property and museums: The Case of the Hunt Museum . This conference was a message from Shimon Samuels, who had sent the original letter to Mary McAleese question why he had not been invited to the seminar. Later, the mandate of the Hunt Museum Evaluation Group questioned, the Simon Wiesenthal Center believe that more emphasis should have been placed on investigating the alleged Nazi links in the Hunt family and the Hunt Museum Evaluation Group to believe that this was beyond their terms of reference, which could do with ancestry research. The Royal Irish Academy issued a press release responding to the message of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.


A 2007 report [9] from the American expert Lynn Nicholas, published by the Royal Irish Academy after three years of investigation, called the Wiesenthal Center allegations “unprofessional in the extreme.”

Nicholas found that the Wiesenthal Center had misidentified the name in the letters.

“The name is used four times in a letter, is Buhl, not Buhrle, and described the person, an unreliable dealer who sells forgeries, certainly has no resemblance to the extremely rich collector and armaments manufacturer Emil Buhrle,” the report said. [9]

See also

  • Limerick City Gallery of Art
  • Limerick City Museum
  • List of museums in Ireland


  1. Jump up ^ “collection”. The Hunt Museum.
  2. Jump up ^ “Irish Statute Book.” Retrieved 26 April 2011.
  3. Hoppa upp^
  4. Hoppa upp^
  5. Jump up ^ Simon Wiesenthal Center claims.
  6. Jump up ^ Team probing ‘Nazi loot’ in the museum closed, The Sunday Times February 13, 2005.
  7. Jump up ^ Museum Announces Investigation of Nazi loot accusations,The Sunday Times October 9, 2005.
  8. Jump up ^ Hunt Museum exempt; Wiesenthal Center “Unprofessional”,AP September 28, 2007.
  9. ^ Jump up to: ab Lynn Nicholas, [1] and the Royal Irish Academy, 2007.