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You Say You Love Me But You Don’t Even Know Me

You Say You Love Me But You Don’t Even Know Me

Exhibition in partnership with National Museums NI

In an exciting new partnership, the Little Museum of Dublin was delighted to host an exhibition of artefacts from the collections of National Museums NI.

Presented with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs, this remarkable new exhibition introduced, or re-introduced, Northern Ireland to the people of Dublin. 

Featuring 35 artefacts from the collections of National Museums NI, You Say You Love Me But You Don’t Even Know Me explored different perspectives of ‘Irishness’ without ignoring contested elements of our complex shared history.

Some of artefacts in our new exhibition: Portrait of Edward Carson (1911) by Robert MacCameron, The Crumlin Meteorite, Replica of the Broighter Torc, Home Rule Game, Large White Ulster Pig Model, Hands Across the Divide (2019) by James Ashe.

Chosen by curatorial staff from across National Museums NI’s network, these artefacts revealed intriguing moments in Ireland’s social and cultural history, from fashion and folklore to archaeology, art and music.

You Say You Love Me But You Don’t Even Know Me was formally launched on Valentine’s Day 2022 by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Alison Gilliland, and the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Kate Nicholl.

Kathryn Thomson, Chief Executive of National Museums NI, said:

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring this exhibition to Dublin through our exciting new partnership with the Little Museum of Dublin. On this island we have a shared and complex history which is viewed from many different perspectives and experiences. Northern Ireland can be difficult to know – we hope this exhibition will provide new insights into who we are, as told through the stories of our collections.”

“This is a landmark exhibition,” said Trevor White, director of the Little Museum. “We are delighted to be working with our colleagues at National Museums NI and excited about showing this collection to visitors from all over the world.”

This cross-border partnership introduced a new generation to some of the wonders in the myriad collections at National Museums NI. Eclectic and thoughtful, the aim of the exhibition is not to further any political agenda, but to promote a broader understanding of history.

On February 14, 2022, the museum hosted a public symposium. Sarah Costigan talked to William Blair, Hannah Crowdy and Kathryn Thomson from National Museums NI, about the exhibition and more generally about the work of National Museums NI. To watch the conversation, click play below.

Writer and broadcaster Martina Devlin chaired a panel discussion on cultural life in Northern Ireland, with artist Rita Duffy and writers Jan Carson and Glenn Patterson. Culture’s Tall Order asked if culture can foster friendship between the two Irelands. Click play below to watch the discussion.

Martina also hosted an online discussion with broadcaster Andrea Catherwood, historian Diarmaid Ferriter, political commentator Alex Kane and politician Ian Marshall. Acknowledging a century of misunderstandings between the two parts of the island, Martina asked our panellists: what’s caused the disconnect and can it be overcome? To watch the conversation, click play below.

The exhibition ran until 6 June 2022.

You Say You Love Me But You Don’t Even Know Me was supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund, and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Media and Sport, with the generous assistance of the Esme Mitchell Trust.

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