From objects of the greatest beauty crafted for powerful rulers to treasures tracing the history of world religions, this exhibition featured artworks capturing the breadth and wonder of Beatty’s exceptional legacy.
CBL W 022
Pagoda from Darani Prayer from the Darani of One Million Pagodas
CBL J 1697.1
Late 11th or early 12th century
Byzantine Empire (modern Turkey or Greece)
CBL W 139
Ruzbihan Muhammad al-Tab‘i al-Shirazi
CBL Is 1558
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Sir Alfred Chester Beatty’s magnificent bequest, the exhibition Gift of a Lifetime presented a choice selection of masterpieces from this unique collection. An internationally successful mining magnate and generous philanthropist, Beatty was one of the most prolific and discerning collectors of his generation. From his early years in New York, through his career in London and travels overseas, Beatty acquired rare books, manuscripts and decorative arts of the highest quality and rarity from Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Following his retirement, Beatty brought these collections to Ireland, later placing them in trust to the nation on his death in 1968. From objects of the greatest beauty crafted for powerful rulers to treasures tracing the history of world religions, the artworks featured in this exhibition and accompanying catalogue captured the breadth and wonder of this exceptional legacy: a gift to the nation, for Ireland to share with the world.