Become a Volunteer at the Hunt Museum and Join the Docent Programme

If you are interested in art and history and have some free time, the Hunt Museum would be delighted to invite you to join the Docent Programme. Docents are the front line ambassadors of the museum and are active members of the community, who volunteer their time to engage visitors in learning primarily about the museum’s collection.

Mairead Donlevy, one of the first directors/curators of the museum, started the Docent programme at the Hunt Museum. Mairead took the idea from museums doing it in the USA. The word docent means teaching from the Latin language. Docents are volunteer teachers and learners. The Hunt Museum Docents are a dynamic and motivated group and host lunchtime talks and highlighters to the public about the Hunt Museum’s three main collections – the John & Gertrude Hunt Collection, the Irish Contemporary Ceramics Collection and the Sybil Connolly Collection.

The Original Collection includes pieces from Greco- Roman to Medieval Times. The Modern Ceramics Collection is partially supplied by a ceramics exhibition every year and lastly, the Sybil Connolly Collection. Sybil was an Irish designer in the 50s and 60s. She designed clothes for many well-known people such as Jackie Kennedy. Sybil would export Irish materials, including handkerchief linens, all around the world.

Jill Cousins, Hunt Museum Director, told ilovelimerick, “We have an amazing docent programme at the Hunt Museum. We want to encourage more people to become a docent, and volunteer in the museum. As a docent, you learn about the objects, take tours and workshops, undertake research, write blogs, and inform people but you are also a part of a group of people who support and make the Hunt Museum function the way it does.”

The Docent Programme is a great way to meet a new group of people with similar interests and it is very rewarding. The Docents get involved in many activities including the Dementia outreach programme, the Kids arts and crafts programme and School Tours. Moira Dwyer, one of the Volunteer Docents, spoke about the Dementia Outreach Programme: “My particular favourite activity is the dementia programme, where we visit nursing homes and dementia villages with replicas of the collections. It is wonderful work and very rewarding.”

The Docents also invigilate at exhibitions held at the Hunt Museum, for example, the Lavery & Osborne: Observing Life exhibition. The exhibition will be on display at The Hunt Museum until Monday, 30 September 2019. A total of sixty-two pieces are currently exhibited featuring Irish artists, Sir John Lavery and Walter Frederick Osborne, both born in the mid-nineteenth century.

You are sure to fall in love with the Hunt Museum Collection and you also might find a new interest and passion. Margaret Walsh, Volunteer Docent found her passion, “I became a volunteer because I fell in love with the ceramics in the Hunt collection back in 1995. I loved ceramics so much that I went on to do a degree in Ceramics in LSAD. I used the objects in the Hunt collection as inspiration for my own work. There is an immense amount of things to do and to fall in love with as a docent. I hope you will volunteer and come pay us a visit at the Hunt Museum.”

The Docent programme enables these people to become experts in different things, including their own specific interests. For example, they get the opportunity to write blogs about what they are learning. These blogs can be found on the museum website.

Jill concluded, “Without the docents, this museum would not be as good as it is. We very much encourage new people to come in and become volunteers for the museum and help us make it work even better.”

What are you waiting for? To get involved in the Docent Programme contact Joni Roche, Volunteer Coordinator on 061 490083 / 061 312833 or email [email protected]

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Social Media Influencers support Lavery and Osborne: Observing Life exhibition at the Hunt Museum


Social media influencers in Limerick have come together to support the ‘Lavery and Osborne: Observing Life’ exhibition which runs at the Hunt Museum throughout the summer until Monday, September 30, by selecting their favourite piece of art from the collection.

Amongst the social influencers who were involved were Richard Lynch, Celia Holman Lee, Meghann Scully, Patrick McLoughney, Leanne Moore and Sinead O’Brien. The six social influencers split into pairs, with each pair selecting a piece of the Lavery and Osborne collection that they admired the most.

Members of the I Love Limerick team were on location at the Hunt Museum to film short promotional videos of the social media influencers speaking in detail about their favourite pieces of the exhibition and why everyone should make sure to visit the exhibition before it departs the museum on Monday, September 30.

Richard Lynch, founder of I Love Limerick, said, “I really wanted to get involved in supporting the exhibition at the Hunt. The Hunt Museum is the cultural gem of Limerick city and so I want everyone in Limerick to visit and support the exhibition, and more importantly the Hunt Museum.”

The ‘Lavery and Osborne: Observing Life’ exhibition features Irish artists, Sir John Lavery and Walter Frederick Osborne. Both born in the mid-nineteenth century, these renowned artists lived parallel lives as Irish painters who travelled overseas to develop their artistic talent. The exhibition places the two artists side by side for the first time. It is said that they never met, but both were offered knighthoods and both were subject to the same artistic influences including that of James McNeill Whistler.

A total of sixty-two pieces are being exhibited and the majority of them are from private collections travelling from the United Kingdom and the United States, with a few from other Irish galleries including the Crawford Art Gallery, Ulster Museum, and Limerick City Gallery of Art.

social media influencers

Pictured at the Hunt Museum visiting the Lavery and Osborne Exhibition are Naomi O’Nolan, Hunt Museum Head of Exhibitions and Collection, Jill Cousins, CEO Hunt Museum and Celia Holman Lee. Picture: Conor Owens/ilovelimerick.

Richard and Celia previously took part in a photoshoot project called VanGoYourself to promote the ‘Lavery and Osborne: Observing Life’ exhibition. They re-enacted Lavery’s painting, with Starsky, owned by Sinead Hutchison, ‘Stars in Sunlight,’ which depicts Maureen O’Sullivan and Loretta Young relaxing between scenes in Hollywood.

VanGoYourself is a European project which was co-founded by the European Commission to enable and promote the greater re-use by creative industries of cultural heritage resources.

VanGoYourself allows visitors to discover and enjoy art in a whole new way …Visitors to Exhibition can re-enact the painting for themselves. They can become the painting using their own visually creative take on the artist’s work. People visiting the exhibition can recreate an Osborne or Lavery painting, by taking a snap of their version of the painting, uploading it to VanGoYourself, which twins their image with the original artwork for sharing on social media, immortalising their artistic talent for all to see!

Meghann Scully, social media influencer and presenter, said, “This Lavery and Osborne exhibition is amazing and it’s only here until September 30, so whether you are around Limerick city or county, or even further afield, make sure to get here to the Hunt Museum and check it out, as this once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Share your experience at the ‘Lavery and Osborne: Observing life’ exhibition on social media by using the hashtag #vangoyourself and tagging the @huntmuseum.

Tickets for the ‘Lavery and Osborne: Observing life’ exhibition can be purchased here.

For more stories on the Lavery and Osborne exhibition, go here.

For more information on the Hunt Museum, go here.

For more Richard Knows News, go here.