Friends of the Chester Beatty Online

Here you will find all our online resources for the Friends of Chester Beatty.

Image of a Japanese print depicting Child prodigy Gyokkashi Shima Eimo giving a reading lesson (Gyokkashi Shima Eimo sodoku no tai)

Join other like-minded individuals at our specially programmed talks, workshops, book clubs and chats to learn about the great cultures and religions of the world while also supporting the preservation and growth of one of the finest collections of European, East Asian and Islamic art in the world.

The Garden Club

Potted Histories: Strawberry Fields Forever

In-Focus Audio Tour with Jill Unkel

This next look at flowers and their meanings in art focuses on the humble but delicious wild strawberry. Strawberries stand proudly among the many identifiable plants in European medieval manuscripts, and were especially popular in border decoration.

Join Curator Jill Unkel as she guides you through marginal gardens to savour the symbolism of the succulent strawberry.

Watch Here

Strawberry daiquiri (shaken not slushed)

Is all that talk about strawberries making your mouth water? Why not shake up some delicious daiquiris Chester Beatty Style?

– 60ml rum
– 15ml lime juice
– Handful strawberries
– 8ml sugar syrup

– Chop and smash the strawberries in a cocktail shaker
– Add the other ingredients and a good quantity of ice
– Shake, shake, shake
– Strain to serve

Download the recipe here

Potted Histories: Iris and Wisteria

In-Focus Audio Tour with Mary Redfern

Now blooming in gardens across Ireland, the iris and wisteria both have a long history of appreciation in Japan.

Curator Mary Redfern introduces the art and poetry surrounding these plants with reference to some of the works in the Chester Beatty collection.

Watch Here

Origami Iris

How-To Video with Sabhbh Ní Mhaolagáin

Inspired by Mary Redfern’s Potted Histories audio tour? Why not learn how to make a simple Origami iris in this how-to video.

Watch Here

Coffee and Chats

Lets catch up, it’s been such a long time since we have all seen each other so why not make yourself a coffee or tea and we can chat all things Chester Beatty, gardens and everything else in between!

To be included in the video call just email  Looking forward to seeing you there!

Our next coffee and chats will be on Friday July 17 at 11:30am.

Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection

“Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection” (February 14–July 26, 2020), Timon Screech, professor of the history of art at SOAS University of London, presents the lecture “Into the Kaleidoscope: Painting in Edo Japan.” Curator Rachel Saunders offers a brief introduction to the exhibition before the lecture.

Japanese art of the early modern Edo period (1615–1868) is spectacularly diverse, astonishing for both its quality and quantity. Had a person from the era been asked to account for this efflorescence, how would they have explained it? This lecture will address the circumstances that allowed such proliferation to occur and how it was perceived using visual materials, diaries, and critiques to re-create an “art mentality” for the age.

“Painting Edo”, the largest exhibition ever presented at the Harvard Art Museums, offers a window onto the supremely rich visual culture of Japan’s early modern era. Selected from the unparalleled collection of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg, the more than 120 works in the exhibition connect visitors with a seminal moment in the history of Japan, as the country settled into an era of peace under the warrior government of the shoguns and opened its doors to greater engagement with the outside world.

Watch Online Here

The Art of Persia

The Persians once ruled a vast empire from Egypt to Northern India, but their culture was very nearly lost. While the history of their ancient kings was almost forgotten, waves of conquering dynasties brought a new language and a new religion. But despite subjugation, blood and revolution, Persia’s culture flourished. Iranians’ sense of identity helped them weather the storms of conquest and their art and language became the weapons of resistance and defiance.

Join Samira Ahmed on an unforgettable trip around Iran’s rich and colourful past, as she walks through the ruins of an empire that very nearly forgot itself.

The Art Of Persia is a BBC Studios Production. The Series Producer and Director is Richard Downes. The Executive Producer is Matthew Springford. The series was commissioned by Mark Bell for BBC Arts and BBC Four.

Find out more

Book Club Recommendations

Travellers in the Third Reich, The Rise of Fascism Through the Eyes of Everyday People by Julia Boyd

Without the benefit of hindsight, how do you interpret what’s right in front of your eyes?

The events that took place in Germany between 1919 and 1945 were dramatic and terrible but there were also moments of confusion, of doubt – of hope. How easy was it to know what was actually going on, to grasp the essence of National Socialism, to remain untouched by the propaganda or predict the Holocaust?

Travellers in the Third Reich is an extraordinary history of the rise of the Nazis based on fascinating first-hand accounts, drawing together a multitude of voices and stories, including students, politicians, musicians, diplomats, schoolchildren, communists, scholars, athletes, poets, journalists, fascists, artists, tourists, even celebrities like Charles Lindbergh and Samuel Beckett. Their experiences create a remarkable three-dimensional picture of Germany under Hitler – one so palpable that the reader will feel, hear, even breathe the atmosphere.

These are the accidental eyewitnesses to history. Disturbing, absurd, moving, and ranging from the deeply trivial to the deeply tragic, their tales give a fresh insight into the complexities of the Third Reich, its paradoxes and its ultimate destruction.

Find it here

Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts by Christopher de Hamel

An extraordinary exploration of the medieval world – the most beguiling history book of the year

This is a book about why medieval manuscripts matter. Coming face to face with an important illuminated manuscript in the original is like meeting a very famous person. We may all pretend that a well-known celebrity is no different from anyone else, and yet there is an undeniable thrill in actually meeting and talking to a person of world stature.

The idea for the book, which is entirely new, is to invite the reader into intimate conversations with twelve of the most famous manuscripts in existence and to explore with the author what they tell us about nearly a thousand years of medieval history – and sometimes about the modern world too. Christopher de Hamel introduces us to kings, queens, saints, scribes, artists, librarians, thieves, dealers, collectors and the international community of manuscript scholars, showing us how he and his fellows piece together evidence to reach unexpected conclusions. He traces the elaborate journeys which these exceptionally precious artefacts have made through time and space, shows us how they have been copied, who has owned them or lusted after them (and how we can tell), how they have been embroiled in politics and scholarly disputes, how they have been regarded as objects of supreme beauty and luxury and as symbols of national identity. The book touches on religion, art, literature, music, science and the history of taste.

Part travel book, part detective story, part conversation with the reader, Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts conveys the fascination and excitement of encountering some of the greatest works of art in our culture which, in the originals, are to most people completely inaccessible. At the end, we have a slightly different perspective on history and how we come by knowledge. It is a most unusual book

Find it here

For more information, please contact
Sabhbh Ní Mhaolagáin
Tel: + 353 1 4070759

Open today 9:45am - 5:30pm

Monday to Friday 9:45am - 5:30pm
Wednesday 9:45am - 8:00pm
Saturday 9:45am - 5:30pm
Sunday 12:00pm - 5:30pm

Closed Mondays: Nov - Feb
Closed 1 Jan; Good Friday; 24-26 Dec

Admission is Free
No booking required
Suggested donation €5


Chester Beatty
Dublin Castle
Dublin 2
D02 AD92