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Brand New Retro

Brand New Retro


It was the cult publishing sensation of 2015. And now it’s back… as an exhibition. The Little Museum was proud to present Brand New Retro, a colourful and candid celebration of pop culture in Ireland.

Featuring hundreds of images, articles and advertisements on subjects such like fashion, music, nightlife, lifestyle and youth culture, Brand New Retro shone a box of mobile disco lights on how Irish people lived and loved from the optimistic days of the late 1950s to the (slightly more bleak ones of) the 1980s. The exhibition was accompanied by a specially-commissioned essay by Pat McCabe, the iconic Irish novelist.

Culled from Brian’s McMahon’s ever-growing collection of vintage Irish magazines, and featuring household names like Johnny Logan, Gay Byrne and the Miami Showband, this brilliant new show revealed a traditional land wrestling with the inevitable attraction to modern life.

McMahon’s career started a hundred yards from the Little Museum in 1979, when his band, The Scheme, supported U2 in the Dandelion Market. Now the curator of award-winning website, McMahon brought the cream of his collection to this show, including many new discoveries. “I’m really excited,” he said, “about sharing the jewels of this archive with the people of Ireland.”

Little Museum curator Simon O’Connor said, “This incredible collection shows us a pre-internet Ireland, another world where men had unfeasibly thick heads of hair and people took pills to put on weight. It captures a nation trying to burst its way into the modern world, a society that is picking up the radio signals of American and British pop culture and transforming itself accordingly.”

Brand New Retro ran in the Ireland Funds Gallery at the Little Museum of Dublin until January 8th 2017.

For photographs and interviews, please contact Martha Betzinger on 01 661 1000 or email