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Tours are given Monday through Friday at 11am and 2pm.
Please call ahead to confirm availability

Exhibition Photo
The American Irish Historical Society’s Permanent Collection is available for viewing by guided tour only. Join us and explore the first three floors of our Beaux-Arts townhouse while learning the history of the building, the Society, and our various artifacts.


Past Exhibits


CANTO XIX outside sigange (1)_1

Currently on view are the artworks that accompanied CANTO XIX, the second edition of an annual spring gala hosted by the Society. CANTO stages an immersive environment with art and music throughout the Society’s historic mansion. Curated by Seol Park (art) and Ricardo Romaneiro (music) CANTO features local and international artists.

Featured Artists:

Ghiora Aharoni

James Harris

KRJST Studio

Norman Mooney

Seol Park

Charles Tyrrell

Junseob Yoon


Breon O’Casey

A WORLD UNKNOWN: 1983-2003


Breon O'Casey

October 10, 2018 through November 14, 2018

Tuesday to Friday, 11am,-5pm and by appointment

(Closed November 1-2)

New York Jewelry Week: Extended Hours November 12-14, 11am-7pm

Breon O’Casey (1928-2011), a well-respected British artist of Irish extraction, son of the Irish playwright Sean O’Casey, made his initial reputation as a jeweler before he fully concentrated on painting, printmaking and sculpture. His works are in major international public and private collections, including the Schmuckmuseum, Pforzheim; The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg; Tate Britain, London; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Goldsmiths Hall, London; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Philadelphia Museum of Art; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The exhibit will include paintings, prints, sculpture, holloware, and jewelry from private collections.

This exhibition is sponsored by Helen Drutt: Philadelphia with the American Irish Historical Society and supported by the Metals/Jewelry/ Cad-Cam Area, Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia. Exhibition organized by Helen Drutt English, Elizabeth Essner and Doug Bucci. Checklist essay by Simon Olding, Director, Crafts Study Centre, Farnham, UK.



   Teenage Kicks: Punk In Northern Ireland

The Mott Collection


unnamedThursday, September 21st, 2017 – Friday, October 13, 2017.

The arrival of Punk in Northern Ireland offered young people, Catholic and Protestant alike, a brief respite from three decades of devastating civil war. Set against a backdrop of car bombs, hunger strikes, security checks, murder and random acts of violence the N.I. punk scene became, fleetingly, a neutral space, a ceasefire of sorts where the young and suppressed regardless of their religious persuasion came together to create their own D.I.Y. culture encompassing Music, clothing, writing and importantly, an attitude. It was a collective of Catholic and Protestant working class youth who eschewed violence to embrace a creative way of life which provided an alternative to the grey and frightening setting of what was commonly referred to by one and all as, ‘The Troubles’. This is an exhibition on the subject of N.I. punk in the context of sectarianism, and the effect of one on the other.

The opening line of The Undertones ‘Teenage Kicks’, ‘A teenage dream so hard to beat’, was not a lyric that any UK punk band would or could have written. It was open, fresh, honest, a breezy slap in the face to cool, cynical, elitist London and this positive energy was not restricted to The Undertones. The scene celebrated youth and life despite the constant news of death and fighting around them. Crucially, in its positivity N.I. punk was a unifying force and, whilst some individuals aligned themselves with particular opposing groups, the movement as a whole was specifically no sectarian.



joseph walsh reveal logo

May 2017


an opportunity to experience
Special Commissioning Dialogues
that to date, have been unseen.

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Joseph Walsh image 2

Joseph Walsh image 1









Enlightened Pathways

An exhibition of fine art prints – featuring two major public parks,
American and Irish.

September 2016

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Enlightened Pathways celebrates the beauty of nature’s textures and forms in St Stephen’s Green and Central Park. Inspired by the progressive view in the late 19th century which prompted the creation of public urban green spaces ‘for the improved health and well-being of all’, Nancy Previs has explored, in detail, two important manmade city center green spaces: Dublin’s St Stephen’s Green, Dublin’s first city center southside public space – opened to the public in 1880  and New York’s Central Park, the first landscaped public park in the United States which was opened in 1858. 

To create her richly-textured, multi-plate original handmade prints, Nancy Previs has used both traditional and contemporary printmaking techniques and materials. To introduce visitors to the materials and techniques, she will be giving a short printmaking demonstration on the afternoon of Thursday October 6, 2016.

Nancy Previs lives in Dublin, Ireland and makes regular trips to New York and Washington DC. Her work has featured in shows in Ireland, the UK and the US. For interviews contact Nancy at:

Her Exiled Children: 1916 Archive Exhibition

April 19th through August 3rd, 2016


This exhibit commemorates through artifacts, pictures and text the story of the 1916 Easter Rising and its American dimension. Visitors will learn about the events leading up to the Rising, and that it was from the United States and particularly New York City that many of the Irish cultural and political nationalists derived their inspiration and support. The exhibit will showcase the struggle throughout Easter Week, noting that five of the seven signers of the 1916 Proclamation had lived in or toured the United States. It concludes with the aftermath of the Rising, showing indignation over the executions of the Irish leaders as well as support for Irish independence sustained by the US Congress and the newly founded Friends of Irish Freedom.




Dear Christy… The Christy Brown Collection

An Exhibit with The Little Museum Dublin

November 2015

Christy Brown Image

A Major new exhibition on one of the most famous Irish Writers of the 20th Century.

Born in Dublin with severe cerebral palsy, Christy Brown’s life story is a remarkable tale of victory against all odds. Immortalised in the Oscar-winning movie My Left Foot, Brown battled illness to become one of Ireland’s most celebrated authors and artists.

In 2014 the Little Museum of Dublin, in conjunction with the National Library of Ireland, bought the private archive of Christy Brown. This landmark exhibition presents the story of his life through a fascinating collection of family effects, personal correspondence, artwork and unpublished writing. This is a unique tribute to one of the most singular talents of the 20th Century.

Following its acclaimed run in Dublin at the Little Museum, this exhibition travels to the American Irish Historical Society, launching a long-term collaboration between these two distinguished cultural institutions.

A Simple Grammar

by artist Lori Van Houten

Spring 2014

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A Simple Grammar is a project begun during a residency at Cill Rialaig, an artist retreat built from cliff-side ruins of a deserted pre-famine village in County Kerry; then continued and expanded while working with the collection of the American Irish Historical Society in New York City. Presented as a six part installation on two floors of the Society’s building in Manhattan, A Simple Grammar combines imagery and objects from the west coast of Ireland with the rich holdings of the American Irish Historical Society library.

Cill Rialaig is on the most western point in Ireland; a peninsula jutting in the North Atlantic. The farms there aren’t dissimilar to those seen in the 19th c. lantern slides included in this exhibit and the stone cottage where I lived and worked while there once housed a family from that same period. It is fitting that A Simple Grammar would begin in such a setting and come to fruition at the American Irish Historical Society, an institution devoted to celebrating the great depth and beauty of Ireland and the Irish people.




 Island: Drawing Conclusions Mapping the Irish
An Exhibition
 June 2012



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Island: Drawing Conclusions Mapping the Irish is an exploration of the history of Ireland through a series of maps, atlases, postcards, cartoons, and pamphlet spanning from the 2nd century to the 21st century.  A collaboration between four outstanding collections, Island is poised to be a fascinating look at the political and cultural history of Ireland. 
As Vincent Virga of the Jackie Clarke Collection explains, “The subject of maps is fourfold: people, society, culture, and history.   Each map is a set of visual clues revealing why it was made and how it was used.  Each map expresses a social and political interest, of which there are many.  Thus maps are acts of discernment. Because they organize knowledge visually, maps are rooted in our visual culture.  As cartographic historical Christian Jacob explains, ‘They share a set of codes – geometric, chromatic, figurative, aesthetic- with painting and drawing, book illustration, calligraphy and architecture.’ Being works of art, they are uniquely human and reveal the collective values of a community.  And as a primary source in the history of the imagination, a singular dimension of history.  Yet these cultural landscapes have always been expendable; discarded for newer ones, shattered and burned in wars, destroyed for reasons of national security, decimated by time.  This makes mapping civilizations an ongoing journey of discovery involved many diverse disciples.”

Supported by Culture Ireland