Four Perspectives on the Museum Building

Dr. Christine Casey

Associate Professor in Architectural History, Head of Department of History of Art in Trinity College Dublin

Dr. Casey discusses the great stair hall adorned with Connemara marble along with other buildings in Dublin that display a similar use of stone and marble. She describes in detail the types of marble and the architectural fashions of the Victorian period. Considerable mention goes to the Irish master stonemasons John and James O'Shea and the influence of Ruskin whose ideas inspired the architecture of the Museum Building. The state of Irish architecture in the Victorian period is addressed. Dr. Casey also discusses the Museum Building in relation to other buildings on Trinity campus, past and present, including the Berkeley Library and the Old Library.

Dr. Ronald Cox

Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Engineering in Trinity College Dublin

Dr. Cox uncovers some interesting facts and provides observations about the Museum Building. When did the very first lecture in the building take place? Why is the building now called the Museum Building? How was the building originally heated and ventilated? Who are the young men in the photographs displayed along the staircase? Answers to these and other questions are revealed in the following video.

Mr. Joseph O’Gorman

Strategic Development Officer in Trinity College Dublin

Mr. O’Gorman discusses the building’s elaborate decorations and how they reflect the purpose for which it was built. He tells the story of the building as being inscribed into nature as much as it is inscribed into the architectural landscape of Dublin. He brings the building to life in his telling of how swifts nesting in the eaves of the building each summer mirror in a strange and beautiful way the delicate carvings of birds, plants and beasts depicted on the building’s façade. In such a way, “the building that was built to study the natural world has become a part of the natural world through the elements living in it.”